1,000 firefighters, 15 aircraft battle wildfire in Portugal

Wind turbines are enveloped in smoke from a fire burning between Proenca-a-Nova and Oleiros, Portugal, Monday.

LISBON, Portugal — Almost 1,000 firefighters and 15 water-dropping aircraft battled a major wildfire in central Portugal on Monday, as strong winds pushed the flames through dense and hilly woodlands.

The blaze was in central Portugal around Proença-a-Nova, 124 miles north of Lisbon.

The fire’s perimeter stretched more than 34 miles, local Civil Protection Agency commander Luis Belo Costa told a news conference, adding that an “extraordinary” amount of tinder-dry vegetation was fueling the flames.

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About two dozen people were evacuated from hamlets as more than a dozen bulldozers cleared firebreaks in the area.

Large wildfires occur each year in Portugal, where poor forest management has been blamed for repeated outbreaks.

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