The Latest: Reignited Portugal blaze strains resources

The Latest on the summer wildfires in Europe (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

Giant clouds of gray smoke are cloaking the horizon in parts of central Portugal as fast-moving wildfires continue to strain emergency services.

A blaze that had been extinguished around Vila de Rei, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) north of Lisbon, re-ignited Wednesday amid strong winds that blew embers across roads and ridges.

The Civil Protection Agency assigned some 750 firefighters and 15 water-dropping aircraft — about half of the force deployed nationally — to the fire.

Authorities say 141,000 hectares of woodland have burned this year, compared with an annual average of 45,000 hectares over the past 10 years.

The blazes have raced through densely packed pine and eucalyptus forests that officials say were not cleared of debris. About 80 percent of Portugal is enduring a severe drought.


11:35 a.m.

Greece's fire department says it's close to containing a wildfire that is burning north of Athens for a fourth day.

Army bulldozers are being used to set up firebreaks around the Kalamos area, about 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of Athens, before an expected pickup in winds later Wednesday.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited fire-damaged areas by helicopter, while more than 300 firefighters remained deployed there, supported by five water-dropping planes and six helicopters.

No serious injuries have been reported since the fire broke out Sunday. The Fire Service hasn't issued a damage estimate, but the blaze is believed to have gutted or damaged several dozen homes.

Wildfires also continued in the Peloponnese in southern Greece and on the western island of Zakynthos.