Portuguese Fire Chief says thunderstorm started after the fire broke out, suspects arson

1,200 firefighters are currently working to extinguish the deadly forest fires raging through central Portugal from which 64 people have been killed and over 200 injured. The head of Portugal's League of Firefighters says he believes the fire was criminally and intentionally started and calls for an in-depth investigation.

Watch below: Deadly forest fire rages through central Portugal 

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The head of Portugal's League of Firefighters said that he believes a "criminal hand" may be behind the huge and deadly forest fires in Portugal this week. He also called for an in-depth investigation into the incident to reveal the truth behind the tragedy.

Fire Chief Jaime Marta Soares stated today (Thursday) that he is positive the thunderstorm that is believed to have started the fire, began only two hours later when the fire was already large. 64 people have been killed and more than 200 were injured in the forest fire raging through central Portugal.

Fire Chief believes arson is behind fire Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Many fell victim after becoming trapped in their vehicles while trying to escape. The tragic outcome has raised serious questions about the authorities’ level of readiness in dealing with this type of disaster and the speed at which they operated.

About 1,200 firefighters are still fighting the flames in the area and local authorities report that 95% of the fire has already been extinguished.

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