Massive fires in Portugal and Spain have claimed the lives of at least 39 people. The fires have been reported in about 100 different locations.

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At least 39 people have been killed by the wave of fires in Portugal and Spain. In light of the deadly fires, which began on Sunday, the government in Portugal declared a state of emergency in the part of the state north of Lisbon and requested aid from countries around the world.

Former Hurricane Ophelia brought strong wind gusts to Portugal when it hit Ireland. Along with the dry and hot weather, the winds fanned the fires, which have been reported in about 100 different locations in northern Portugal and Spain’s Galicia region.







Firefighters

Firefighters Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Galician President Alberto Nunez Feijoo stated that most of the fires were started deliberately. According to the Spanish interior minister, some of those responsible for the blazes have already been identified by the authorities. Two suspects in Portugal have been arrested.

Lisbon has come under harsh criticism due to the emergency forces’ poor state of fire readiness. In light of the criticism, the opposition has called on the interior minister to resign. “This is not a time for resignations but for solutions,” stated Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa. “We are aware that the public wants to see results and we are engaged in a race against the clock after decades of neglect.”