Portugal has one of the worst droughts in decades.
More 200 Portuguese firefighters and one water bomber helicopter struggled Tuesday against a major forest fire that broke out yesterday near the town of Alhada (center).
The fire, of unknown origin, resulted in the temporary closure of the nearby motorway and many residents were busy watering the area around their homes to protect themselves from the spread of fire, according to images of the Portuguese public television RTP.
Two thirds of the territory under drought
"This is a hell, there are sparks falling everywhere," said a resident in the chain. Alhada is located 200 km north of the capital.
Portugal has the most severe drought of the last sixty years with almost 68% of the territory in a state of severe or extreme drought.
The entire Portuguese territory is affected, but especially the southern regions of Alentejo and Algarve.
Weather has issued a heat alert bulletin for eight regions (of 18) where the temperature could approach 40 degrees Celsius in the coming days: Évora, Beja, Castelo Branco, Lisbon, Portalegre, Setubal, Santarem and Viana do Castelo.
Portuguese warning system was set up after the heat wave that hit Europe in 2003 and killed near 2.000 people in Portugal.