LISBON, Portugal – A report into a three-day spate of wildfires in Portugal last October that killed 48 people says authorities should have made better preparations to fight the blazes.
The expert report requested by the Portuguese government says weather forecasts and a severe drought should have prompted officials to move firefighting equipment into place ahead of time.
The report published late Tuesday also said authorities should have better warned the public about the potential danger by issuing a red weather alert.
The report says that the what it termed "mega-wildfires" were fanned by Hurricane Ophelia passing in the Atlantic, and at their peak burned an area the equivalent of 10,000 football fields every hour.
It says the blazes were the largest ever recorded in Europe at that time of year.