43 people presumed dead in forest fires in Portugal

43 people presumed dead in forest fires in Portugal
43 people presumed dead in forest fires in Portugal

Death toll just raised to 57....

Pretty sad, even more considering most people died in their cars with no escape possible, hopefully the smoke killed them before the fire did.

Faaaark. RIP.

In Australia we're taught if you're going to leave, leave early before you can even see the fire/smoke. People think they can outrun the fire in your car, but when the conditions are that bad that they're creating their own weather patterns, outrunning it becomes a death trap. Other traffic, debree like trees/power poles and visibility are also unexpected. Listening to people that have been in the middle of a fire storm, while it's fascinating from a mother nature POV, it's certainly is not something I wish to ever experience.

It suprises me why this isn't upvoted more, 43 is an insane amount of casualties. Extremely tragic.

Edit: It gained some attention now, good to see

The fire covered 20km in 10mins according to Portuguese news channels, it must have caught people off guard, before they could even realize the danger

link

Just to give some context, since I am portuguese: This is absolutely unprecedented in Portugal. Never anything close to this happened in our country despite the usual forest fires every summer. Usually one or 2 people die, sometimes firemen, in this type of fires, but to have 40 people getting caught in their cars while driving tells how horrifically fast the flames covered long distances. I am truly shocked and never thought people could get caught like this in a fire, because you would think they would just drive away. But when 40+ get caught it tells you there was nothing they could do.

Also don't you think this would never happen in your country because Portugal is poor or something like that. Last time I heard we have 700 firemen, 150 vehicles and aerial support just in this single fire.

Last update says 58 people dead. Tragic

Edit: Update: In the news they are saying that some of the people caught while driving were trying to flee their village which was already surrounded by flames; rescuers are checking villages where the fire has passed and some old people were caught while already sleeping (this started late afternoon yesterday); there are still 2 more villages to check and rescuers are afraid a lot more people will be found dead...

Edit2: Update: It was mentioned that in a village, 11 people survived by staying inside a water tank; there are also a lot of people still missing; rescuers predict that later this night it will be possible to look for survivors in villages that were surrounded by fire till now. Here you can see a photo of one of the roads were people driving got caught: road affected by forest fires

Edit3: If you want to help these people, you can do it by using this IBAN PT50 0035 0001 00100000330 42. I found an article in english to show you that this is an official way to help link

Quoting: "To help survivors, a helpline was open by Caixa Geral de Depósitos, under the title “Unidos por Pedrógão”. The account can be accessed using NIB: 0035 0001 0010 0000 3304 2. Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) is a Portuguese state-owned banking corporation, and the second largest bank in Portugal, established in Lisbon in 1876." (need to add PT50 before if you are from outside the country)

Edit4: Impressive footage obtained with a drone from the road where 39 dead bodies were found. The news channels are calling it "the road of death"

This is a brutal way to die, I'm afraid to say. This really warrants more attention. Portugal has suffered a tragedy.

It was +40ºC, extremely dry,the fire itself generates wind gusts.

And the area is filled with Eucalyptus, probably with the high fire temperatures burned like gasoline and made the fire spread so fast.

Holy shit, that's 120 km/h. Didn't know natural fire could go that fast.

Eucalyptus which aren't endemic to the iberian peninsula, I'd like to add. This is a very controversial subject.

The fire was caused by a dry thunderstorm

It´s now 57 deaths. Damn!

In Portugal we have a tradition of forest fires in the summer. Not a year goes by without them.

Many reasons to it:

-disregard for forestation laws. Unkept woodland, substitution of the native forest for eucalyptus trees (that grow quickly feeding the paper/wood industry).

-money interests around fires. We have had from fireman starting fires because they were payed by exit to the more common wood business were they get wood from burned areas much cheaper then from elsewhere. In other areas it was also to clear woodland for construction in protected areas.

-And of course we also have the pyromaniacs..some that like to watch the fire others that like to watch the firemen the helis, the planes, etc

It's a sad situation every year :/

Portuguese here. It is a tragedy, no doubt. Everything that could be done was done (not to prevent it, for sure, but it was a fucking thunderstorm in our hottest day of the year).

Rare thunderstorm + strong winds + super dry forest + road right in the middle of said forest with no prevention mechanisms. Not sure most - if any - country in the world could have saved those people trapped in the road, with fire all around them. It hurts just to write it.

Yeah, they are a plague and cause lots of issues here.

2 firefighters went missing and were later found wounded. When you start losing qualified personnell with appropriate (hopefully) equipment it's pretty bad.

Also don't you think this would never happen in your country because Portugal is poor or something like that.

Important point here. The forces of Nature are ruthless, and even with all our 21st century resources we still struggle to even moderately tame it. Which means our seemingly comfortable way of life will be more frequently disturbed like this as the climate continues to act abnormally (the official statement is that it was caused by a dry thunderstorm).

We can't just react to disasters, we have to work together to actively prevent them.

So sorry to read about it: California firefighter here...high winds and drought conditions are a potentially deadly combination. When such events happen, often it's quick...and the people stuck between a rock and a hard place have to make split second decisions. And the difference between 'stay or move' or 'left or right' can literally mean life or death. Your nation has my sympathies and regards.

I see so many kind people who aren't portuguese in this thread, thank you to everyone. All my family is from there, they have lived there for generations. It really breaks my heart to know what's happening. My family lost everything they have including houses but they managed to flee soon enough.

Edit: my parents are staying overnight at Firefighter headquarters in Coimbra, since they have nowhere to go. They have been helping other victims, serving food and organizing supplies ( water, food ) people donate. Seems like this event triggered the good in everyone's hearts. I encourage anyone who wants to donate ( food or money) to do so, there are several associations who are accepting these and then handing them to the victims.

Every year the same story, but never this catastrophic.

The forests and fields on the interior of the country are in abandonment. Cleaning and preventive measures are clearly not enough for the past decades. Budgets are short for civil protection/firemen and every Summer the same tragedy repeats.

Shame on the inefficient and corrupt politicians for talking much and doing little.

The death count was updated to 57......

This is a HUGE tragedy, we already asked for help from Spain and France.

Edit: death count now stands at 58.

1600 firemen 495 vehicles 15 arial vehicles

Edit: 62..... :(

Edit 12: Another fire near the big fire is out of control and it's believed both fires will meet. Spain is sending more firefighters to help. Prime minister begged for people to allow to be rescued, since a lot of people are refusing to abandon their houses. Sometimes they are not sure if everyone is safe, so they want to check it once more, they want to keep their houses, memories and animals. It's been very painful to watch the news and it's hard to not get emotional.

It's known they found more corpses, but they don't update the number of dead. 

Edit 11: A press release was schedule for 15 minutes ago, but they don't disclosure how much more deaths were found. 50 victims are not identified. Another press release will happen in one hour. 95% of the county's forest is burned. 834 firefighters. Hope is up for the night, since it's expected to be wetter. Several people are refusing leaving the house, especially eldery. 
The bank CGD opened an account to help: PT50 0035 0001 00100000 330 42. 

Edit 10: Nasa shows the images via satellite of the fire: Image and Interactive link.

It's already compared to California fires. 

Other images (if it's allowed to post): Image 1; Image 2; Image 3; Image 4; Image 5. 

Edit 9: More fires in two other cities are making it hard to stop the biggest one. As for now, 2 spanish places are coming, 6 military and navy squads too. Tomorrow aircrafts from France will also arrive. 
For the fire in Pedrógão, there are 766 firefighters, 237 firefighting cars and 6 planes. Weather is still very hot. 

A reporter crew from a major news channel got surrounded by fire and is now running for safety. Reporter said the fire moves surprisingly fast. Wind is strong, and there is no firefighters in that specific area. A few people are still being evacuated.

I don't know if I'm allowed to post videos of the news channel's streaming. 

Edit 8: Deaths: 61 - one of the registered deaths were duplicated. Still expecting more. 

Prime-minister has spoken. 400 social workers available to help with emergency shelter and other issues. Students having national assessments living in affected areas see now their tests postponed to whenever is safe. Military forces and navy are arriving to help fighting the fire. There are reignitions of fire. It's still not under control. Weather forecast for today is similar to yesterday's so there's not much optimism. Firefighters are getting exausted and in need of water and fresh fruit easy to peel. 

The smell is getting even more intense. The communication is being slowly restablished, still it's advised to communicate via radio. 

Edit 7: Several villages are surrounded by fire, with houses. Wind is making the fire to move further. There has been explosions. Fire is changing direction all the time, nobody seems to be sure what's going to happen next. 

Friends in Germany said german goverment are also sending help. It was announced by Sigmar Gabriel. 

Edit 6: 700 firefighters, 250 firefighting vehicles and 4 planes are active in the field. It's said this is the deadliest fire in 50 years. There are several villages with no standing houses, one of these villages has lost half of their habitants. 
People who were able to run away inside their cars explain how the other cars couldn't run away. They say there was smoke everywhere and all cars were bumping against everything. Some drove into apparently safe roads, but they found fire later in that direction. 

Edit 5: As I write this, reporters are being evacuated from places that were safe before. The fire is getting more intense. It's moving to other cities and going to the highway. Planes are not able to get to the fire given the intensity. 4 children among the victims. It was found the tree that started the fire. 5 of the victims are now identified. 

Edit 4: France will help with 3 planes. Portugal asked Spain for help. Police admits more corpses will be found inside houses, but they are still collecting. 300 km of power lines are damaged. Still no electricity or service. 42ºC in the area where the burnt cars were found.

Edit 3: 150 people lost their house. Soccer association is helping these people with food and shelter. A lot of people have no idea where their family members and friends are. Civils are also fighting fire. Fire is still growing strong, some areas were put down, but it's still very much active. It started almost 24 hours ago. 

Edit 2: 62 deaths. Government declared 3 days of national mourning. 

Edit: 58 deaths. 59 hospitalized, of which 8 firefighters. 4 of them in extremely serious condition. 

Every year we have the same problem. A lot of people set the woods on fire and when caught get the unbelievable sentence of 3 years in prison. Yes. 3 years. Hardly anyone is sentenced for murder. 

However, in this is natural disaster. People say there hasn't been such awful and big disester for years. 

The weather worked against it. The wind changed directions fast and in a violent way.

People died inside their cars while running away. Carbonized. 

People are desperately asking for information because they have family members lost in the fire area. No communication. No electricity. Cannot make calls.

Edit 12: Another fire near the big fire is out of control and it's believed both fires will meet. Spain is sending more firefighters to help. Prime minister begged for people to allow to be rescued, since a lot of people are refusing to abandon their houses. Sometimes they are not sure if everyone is safe, so they want to check it once more, they want to keep their houses, memories and animals. It's been very painful to watch the news and it's hard to not get emotional.

It's known they found more corpses, but they don't update the number of dead.

Edit 11: A press release was schedule for 15 minutes ago, but they don't disclosure how much more deaths were found. 50 victims are not identified. Another press release will happen in one hour. 95% of the county's forest is burned. 834 firefighters. Hope is up for the night, since it's expected to be wetter. Several people are refusing leaving the house, especially eldery. The bank CGD opened an account to help: PT50 0035 0001 00100000 330 42.

Edit 10: Nasa shows the images via satellite of the fire: and Interactive link.

It's already compared to California fires.

Other images (if it's allowed to post): Image 1; Image 2; Image 3; Image 4; Image 5.

Edit 9: More fires in two other cities are making it hard to stop the biggest one. As for now, 2 spanish places are coming, 6 military and navy squads too. Tomorrow aircrafts from France will also arrive. For the fire in Pedrógão, there are 766 firefighters, 237 firefighting cars and 6 planes. Weather is still very hot.

A reporter crew from a major news channel got surrounded by fire and is now running for safety. Reporter said the fire moves surprisingly fast. Wind is strong, and there is no firefighters in that specific area. A few people are still being evacuated.

I don't know if I'm allowed to post videos of the news channel's streaming.

Edit 8: Deaths: 61 - one of the registered deaths were duplicated. Still expecting more.

Prime-minister has spoken. 400 social workers available to help with emergency shelter and other issues. Students having national assessments living in affected areas see now their tests postponed to whenever is safe. Military forces and navy are arriving to help fighting the fire. There are reignitions of fire. It's still not under control. Weather forecast for today is similar to yesterday's so there's not much optimism. Firefighters are getting exausted and in need of water and fresh fruit easy to peel.

The smell is getting even more intense. The communication is being slowly restablished, still it's advised to communicate via radio.

Edit 7: Several villages are surrounded by fire, with houses. Wind is making the fire to move further. There has been explosions. Fire is changing direction all the time, nobody seems to be sure what's going to happen next.

Friends in Germany said german goverment are also sending help. It was announced by Sigmar Gabriel.

Edit 6: 700 firefighters, 250 firefighting vehicles and 4 planes are active in the field. It's said this is the deadliest fire in 50 years. There are several villages with no standing houses, one of these villages has lost half of their habitants. People who were able to run away inside their cars explain how the other cars couldn't run away. They say there was smoke everywhere and all cars were bumping against everything. Some drove into apparently safe roads, but they found fire later in that direction.

Edit 5: As I write this, reporters are being evacuated from places that were safe before. The fire is getting more intense. It's moving to other cities and going to the highway. Planes are not able to get to the fire given the intensity. 4 children among the victims. It was found the tree that started the fire. 5 of the victims are now identified.

Edit 4: France will help with 3 planes. Portugal asked Spain for help. Police admits more corpses will be found inside houses, but they are still collecting. 300 km of power lines are damaged. Still no electricity or service. 42ºC in the area where the burnt cars were found.

Edit 3: 150 people lost their house. Soccer association is helping these people with food and shelter. A lot of people have no idea where their family members and friends are. Civils are also fighting fire. Fire is still growing strong, some areas were put down, but it's still very much active. It started almost 24 hours ago.

Edit 2: 62 deaths. Government declared 3 days of national mourning.

Edit: 58 deaths. 59 hospitalized, of which 8 firefighters. 4 of them in extremely serious condition.

Every year we have the same problem. A lot of people set the woods on fire and when caught get the unbelievable sentence of 3 years in prison. Yes. 3 years. Hardly anyone is sentenced for murder.

However, in this is natural disaster. People say there hasn't been such awful and big disester for years.

The weather worked against it. The wind changed directions fast and in a violent way.

People died inside their cars while running away. Carbonized.

People are desperately asking for information because they have family members lost in the fire area. No communication. No electricity. Cannot make calls.

From a quick research, the Eucalyptus species in Portugal seeems to be E. Globulus a.k.a. Blue Gum.

In circa 1860 Francis Cook planted the tree on Monserrate Palace his property at Sintra in Portugal and within twenty years it had attained the height of 100 m and a circumference of 5 m. By 1878 the tree ″... had spread from one end of Portugal to the other″.

Currently, 24.4% of Portuguese forest area is comprised of Eucalyptus and it's the most prevalent tree species in the country (let me remind you they didn't even exist here 150 years ago, crazy!).

Wildfires are problematic every year, in Portugal. This year we didn't get that much rain so it's probably going to be one of the worst in recent memory. It's one of the most economically relevant tree species, so there's a lot of pressure from big companies that can profit for them, which means every year the total area of eucalyptus tree is increasing, despite the hazard.

No, this is what happens in a forest fire. Forest fires spread so fast (beyond 50km/h sometimes), that you just get swallowed up.

It's a fucked up and torturous way to go. Don't try to minimize it, because this is a real tragedy.

Edit: Yeah, the is very NSFL, sorry for no warning.

Way too common. We have them every summer, sometimes hundreds at a time, all across the country.

I just heard in the radio they have determined this was caused by lightning hitting a few trees, and with the hot dry weather and wind, it spread out in a matter of minutes.

An issue with these eucalyptus trees have is that they explode during forest fires.

The oils in their leaves and trunk, which at room temperature are already nearly as volatile as gasoline, quickly reach their boiling point and flash vaporize.

In fact, the Blue Mountains in Australia are so named because the eucalyptus emit so many hydrocarbons into the air that it causes the blue misty haze of mie scattering.

We have them in the Bay Area. They helped spread the Oakland hills fire which happened a long time ago

We have forest fires every year, for sure, perhaps im a bit too young but i never saw a forest fire kill so many people here. In fact, there arent almost any human casualities because of this problem, from my memory.

Californian here. Every year we burn like crazy. Yup, you try to outrun it and its already become a firestorm, people end up ditching hundreds of cars in the road and fleeing on foot, traffic is unbelievably bad in those situations. When its this bad theres not even time to put on your shoes. You HAVE to evacuate when told.

NSLF warning, someone burning alive.

This is sad, are big forest fires common in Portugal?

Strong images

More photos here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr3E4zwZypA

Visibility indeed seems to get pretty bad:

Traffic however, looks like /sub/anormaldayinrussia

https://fogos.pt/

have fun

(just a way of saying, its not fun)

Doubt the equipment is appropriate... firemen in Portugal have it rough compared to other nations equipment.

Hopefully the government has decided to invest in firefighting airplanes instead of renting from private companies... which, would then have all the incentives to start these fires.

Am I the only one who has witnessed​ a sudden fire on a tree? Dry trees can turn on by themselves into a blaze of fire in plain sunlight.

It happened to an old oak, 4 meters tall, that we had on our courtyard. We still don't know how it started, but there was no one around, and it was a dry, sunny day. I think that's how most fires start in arid zones like Portugal and South America.

Career wildland firefighter from the US here...

Depends on what you mean by equipment, but most handheld wildland firefighter equipment is cheap: leather boots, work pants and long sleeve shirt, hardhat, backpack, water bottles, handtools (shovels, axes, hoes, etc). Your bigger ticket items are radios, gps, chainsaws, hose, portable pumps. Ive heard the average US wildand FF carries about $2k worth of stuff.

Experience is probably the most important asset in wildland firefighting and its hard to come by. Frankly the job is brutal. Its a roller coaster of mental, physical, and financial extremes. Its not for everyone. You can easily mobilize an small army to go dig line and clear brush, but effectice safe leaders take a decade+ to train up. The complexity of conducting a massive backburn is insane. In the US, it would take probably 20-30 years of experience to lead the efforts to fight a blaze like this.

Now heavy equipment and aircraft are where you get into the big money. You are correct that firefighting aircraft are extremely expensive and really they often provide our best chance of catching extremely fast growing fires. But aircraft are inherently unreliable. Wildland firefightrs in the US are trained to never rely on aircraft, for transport or water dropping, etc. They are just a nice bonus. But relying on them has gotten a lot of people killed. Aircraft break, they cant fly into certain conditions, the pilots miss, etc.

This fire was also ridiculously fast moving from what it sounds like. Weather, fuels, and topigraphy aligned and created a massive blow up. But really thats no excuse. A few firelook outs or a small piper cub type plane flying a daily patrol could have given advanced notice. Then a few dozen folks with radios and vehicles started warning folks to evac.

Some fires cannot be fought and just have to let do their thing until circumstances change. Really all you can hope is that the Portugese wildland firefighting program will learn from this and come up with a plan to never let it happen again.

Edit: also i forgot to mention that probably 95% or more of wildland firefighting aircraft in the US are not owned by the government, but contracted. Only the military C130s and park service helicopters are federal property. The govt just contracts the rest because fire season is so short, usually only a few months in most of the US, so no need to have expense equipment sitting around all year nor the requirment to train up federal employees to be decent pilots.

Firefighter here. ... the amount of smoke they would have to inhale to lose consciousness in a forest fire would be excruciatingly painfull. They probobly spent a couple hours mindlessly looking for clean air, vomitting, and moaning.

Wgat probobly ultimatly killed them was breathing in superheated gas burning their airways, which is supposedly a quick way to go.

help drain swamps

yep, they drain the land here, so the fire can spread much faster. Also they burn much faster than other trees.

thank you. since our government banned Wikipedia, I relay on people like you who are kind enough to share what they wondered and do research. Know that your comment is really greatly appreciated.

:)

Sad to hear, but it seems like EU is going to respond and help out this time at least.

Spain has sent two water-bombing planes to help tackle the fires, and the European Union is co-ordinating an international firefighting and relief effort.

This is how it looks right now. A literal highway to Hell.

Spain and France are sending much needed help and there are close to 700 firemen working on trying to control this fire.

Hopefully this tragedy gets some attention from the bureaucrats and politicians in Brussels, so this can be properly discussed/analyzed and the correct measures taken and supported to prevent such calamity from happening again.

For non-portuguese speakers:

Fire and red dots are active fires that are currently requiring a large amount of resources. Those fires are currently out of control and pose a serious risk to population and wildlife.

Orange and yellow dots are active fires where the resources are currently going, arriving or starting to tackle down the fire.

Light blue dots are extinguished fires that were active but some resources are put to tackle any fire that might re-occur.

Blue dots are controlled fires where there are small fires that are currently being put down.

Green dots are extinguished fires that no longer are threatning and where the resources are being displaced and re-allocated to other places.

Yes, in fact, one of the pilots that fought the fire posted this to his facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/joao.silvadossantos.1/posts/1698221906868770

Antes que as politiquices comecem vou relatar o que vi ontem. Os fogos de ontem não têm nada de semelhante com aquilo a que estamos habituados. Ontem a mãe natureza decidiu que quem manda é ela. Assisti a trovoadas secas com relâmpagos brutais a cair na floresta, ventos fortíssimos e sempre a mudar de direcção e um tipo de nebulosidade que nunca tinha visto. O combate aéreo nestas condições é extremamente difícil e perigoso. Completei em Maio 15 anos neste serviço e quando julgava que já tinha visto tudo afinal estava enganado. Fomos todos e viemos tudos. A resposta dos meios de protecção civil foram os adequados e necessarios mas contra a mãe natureza é dificil ganhar. Os meus sinceros sentimentos aos familiares das pessoas que faleceram e quanto a nós....até já. Dentro de momentos rodas no ar.

Which roughly translates to:

Before politics start reporting what I saw yesterday. The fires from yesterday have nothing similar to what we're used to. Yesterday, mother nature decided [to remind us] that she calls the shots. I've watched dry thunders with brutal lightning fall down at the forest, strong winds constantly changing direction and a fog I had never witnessed before. Areal firefight in these conditions is extremely hard and dangerous. I've completed 15 years of service in May and when I thought I had seen it all, turns out I was wrong. ... Civil Protection's response were adequate and necessary but against mother nature it's hard to win. My sincerest condolences to the families of the people that passed ....

EDIT: spelling

My mother lives in the area (Swedish, moved there with her boyfriend who's Portugeese) and they are quite pissed with the government right now. Apparently they keep planting none-native eucalyptus in the area that dries up really quickly and is more flamable than the indiginous trees.

Apparently these forestfires would have been a lot more manageable if they didn't grow forign vegetation that is prone to burning.

As a fireman here in Portugal I'm having a hard time watching all my colleagues in there with extremely high temperatures and not being able to help with anything

FYI Wikipedia is NOT banned in Portugal.

Our worse disaster ever for sure. 59 dead now and 57 injured. Edit: 62 and probably rising later

There was time to evacuate before the fire got to the populations (in Fort McMurray). Here, elderly villagers were caught in their sleep (late afternoon/evening) and people were caught off-guard in roads. Portugal is also much smaller than Canada, which means that our forest roads aren't as remote. You could be driving between some of our biggest cities and just go through these forests at some point, while population density in North America is much lower.

that is creepy as fuck

Civil Protection has confirmed the fire was started by a lightning strike during a dry storm, with 40ºC of ambient temperature.

I always laugh when people say "when it's in the middle east no one cares" because no one cares when it's in Europe too if it happens to be some place like Portugal.

In Canada most roads used for evacuation routes also have the trees cleared back a minimum distance from the highway. This is why people in Fort Mac were able to safely keep driving despite the fire being directly adjacent to them.

Moses?

I study forestry and I've never heard of this.

it doesn't get upvoted more because its Portugal, if it was germany or france or italy this would be on top of /sub/all by now.. it's always the same, no one actually cares about us here

https://youtu.be/zvPa_yEEd4E

I don't know of aerial forage, but this one does a good job of showing how fast and hot a fire can be.

Yep, last year you could see them from the ISS. But never with this amount of casulties.

And unfortunately, as much as I hope I'm wrong, nothing will come out of this. Politicians will talk about how bad they feel and next year these fires are going to happen again. Ridiculous!

Edit: Death toll has been updated to 57 and 59 injured.

This is in Pedrógão, a rather small town. A friend of mine's family is natural from there so I've been to the place and I've seen how small that is, almost everyone knows each other, so 57 casualties there isn't like 57 casualties in a city like Lisbon or Madrid or Paris, which, nonetheless, is always a huge calamity. This is truly terrifying, can't imagine being there, not knowing whether the casualties were from someone close to you or not.

Also, to someone who's passed by the forest side on the national road, it is terrifying to imagine it all burn, given the immensity of the vegetation, mostly Eucalyptus, which burns quite easily.

More than 700 men are fighting the fire, aid planes have come from Spain and helo is expected to come from France too. Two firefighters are mia, it seems to be a neverending live nightmare.

It was a weather phenomenon, a dry thunderstorm. The lighting lit a tree and suddenly violent winds started in all directions like a tornado. The winds stopped again living dense pockets of smoke everywhere and fires allover. First it was one front but in 5 minutes they had 4 violent fronts in all directions.

True! Every fucking year. It drives me insane. Remember when that guy set a fire that killed several firefighters just because his girlfriend left him for a firefighter? How many years did that guy get? Nobody talks about this. Those are sociapaths. They need to be away from civilization. People die. Animals die. People who live off their plantation lose their source of income. People lose their houses, and memories in those houses. Photographies of elderies. They lose everything.

And what happens to the criminals? Nothing. Even 3 years is nothing.

And the area is filled with Eucalyptus,

Oops. That's bad. Source: Australian

Am I the only one

Probably not

jesus, the cow...

We are not rich but I don't see how that changes anything. Those families will have all the support and help that they are supposed to have. This didn't happen because of lack of money.

This makes me wonder. Could Koala's live there? Or is it a different species from Aussie Eucalyptus?

Unkept woodland

there is a reason for that... cleaning woodlands is more expensive than the profits from selling wood, because the forest is divide by thousands of owners, until further centralization of the forest happens there will be huge forest fires every year.

Death toll is now at 62, and the fire is not even controlled by now

It's ironic and unfair how something so devastating and sad is so incredebly beautiful to see.

62 confirmed moments ago

They literally explode if there is enough heat.

Sadly, all help won´t be enough. Waiting for government help will take to long. There is a bank account set up to help all those who lost everything. Houses, animals and some their family members. 50 000€ have already been donated.

IBAN: PT50 0035 0001 00100000 330 42 Swift Code: CGDIPTPL

Source 1 Source 2 (All PT)

Why are you propagandizing this here? 62 dead and you think this is appropriate? Pyromaniacs and eucalyptus are the issues most of the times in our country.

Portuguese Prime-Minister Car goes through a closed-road surrounded by flames

Drone footage of the road where people were burned

In my lifetime i can't remember a worst tragedy than this one in Portugal.

True, though in the Black Saturday fires plenty of people (most) also died in their homes. Sometimes nature just fucks you up and stay or go there's often no escaping it. Bushfires are terrifying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIHIsSJ2Txk

Very quick fire spread can be seen here too, even the fire engines were caught in it.. As you can hear, the first had no water to do a burnover -

people end up ditching hundreds of cars in the road and fleeing on foot, traffic is unbelievably bad in those situations.

I remember having to evacuate a campground up north near Shasta years ago and there was inexplicably a traffic jam. As the fire was coming we decided to pull to the side of the road and go on foot along with everyone else. The cause of the traffic jam? A fender bender with the two fucking idiots arguing outside the cars and blocking the two lanes. We screamed at them to get the fuck out of the road as the fire was coming. Luckily the fire was blown in a different direction. I wanted to punch those two jerks for risking everyone's lives over minor damage to cars

2 canadairs from Italy are ready to help if needed.

The road that got caught with fire, was still open when the fire reached it.

It was the population that warned drivers not to drive that way, because there was no legal authorities to that

It would be really disgusting if it turned out these companies were doing so, but let's not jump to conclusions.

California also has this problem to a tee. In the last two years my county has lost two or three towns.

i aint going to lie. I think dying in fire would be the worst way to go. The amount of pain.

I dont think he's trying to minimize anything. Actually, as a wildland FF myself, I can confirm the killer superheated gases that u/yugwwiener69 is talking about. Yes scary, but probably a quick way to go.

Dude half the time we can't even get funding for fuels treatments around homes, let alone roads.

Right now it's 232 incidents all over the country with 2831 man power fighting them, 919 vehicles and 22 aerial units.

The scary thing is that the number of incidents keeps going up, but those firefighters fighting them will need to rest eventually and they can't be replaced easily.

Dont loose hope, the smoke will pass and the people will still be helping

Holy fuck. This is scary as shit.

Same thing in Sardinia. It's not uncommon for a fire to erupt on the island in the proximity of eucalyptus trees.

That's some striking photojournalism.

Could have been struck by lightning days earlier and just smoldered inside until it got some oxygen

That's true but not often a cause of fire in Portugal. We don't have much of the barbecue/camping culture out in the woods.

As of now 57 dead, 59 injured and around 150 people lost their homes. Also, the cause was apparently dry thunder, instead of arson. Can't remember the last time we had such a big tragedy.

EDIT: The national police director has confirmed dry thunder as the cause, as investigation found a tree strump broken in half due to lightining,

...this is getting even depressing:

The death toll could rise further, he said.

Portugal is doing everything it can to control this tragedy:

About 60 forest fires broke out across the country overnight, with close to 1,700 firefighters battling them across Portugal.

This is terrifying.

They’ve just said that an whole small town just disappear from the map, it had only 11 people living there, they were all caught by the fire in their homes, that’s just sad, I’m in shock...

You make it sound like Firefighters in Portugal roam the street actually begging. It's not a shitshow. They are generally short on funds but they still provide for the communities, especially when you consider they answer first-aid calls too. That's why they command such respect here in Portugal, mostly making do with little.

but Portugal is not exactly a rich country,

Portugal is not rich when compared to the rest of the western europe, compared to the world at large it´s quite a different thing. Not sure how being rich would help anyway, Canada and Australia also have very big problems with forest fires and putting them out.

It'd suck if we get the forest fires and we don't even get the cute animals.

I'd much rather read about actual news than Trumps latest tweet

Because nobody actually thinks it will effect them, and that the warnings are a mere precaution. Just yesterday my city had a tornado warning, but I went out and about as if nothing was wrong and turned out to be right, however if a tornado did touch down and killed me, people would brand me as an idiot for not heeding the warning and staying in a basement.

Give it a few hours for when everyone wakes up.

58 deaths as of now. Reports of people throwing themselves into wells to escape the fire and drowning. One of the worst tragedies to hit Portugal in decades.

Those who can read Portuguese can follow Publico's live coverage of the events.

I was traveling around Portugal recently and heard from several different people there that it's a bit of a corruption issue. There are large companies in Portugal to fight fires, they own helicopters for it. Apparently they lobby/bribe the government to not pass regulations that would reduce fires, so more business for them.

apparently Theresa May being chased from a church (+30K upvotes) is more important than an european country being on fire. But hey, it's Portugal, so who gives a fuck? (/s)

That sounds scary, the randomness of lightning strike causing so many deaths. As a Londoner, seeing the horror of Grenfell tower makes this feel way to close. Hope survivors and family of those dead get proper help.

Most people don't even get the 3 years friend. Most are left off with suspended sentences. There's nothing to dissuade people from starting fires.

Ironically enough, Portugal probably spends too much money putting out fires. Mostly due to the lobbying of fire-fighter associations and related interest groups. This ends up being counterproductive as it creates a bust/boom cycle: years with an abnormally low quantity of burned area, which leads to an excessive amount of biomass, eventually leading to catastrophic seasons when hot temperatures+strong winds happen - as no amount of firefighting is enough to put out forest fires in those conditions with those huge quantities of dry biomass.

Portugal needs to let fires burn more in low temperature years/months, or just on occasions where there's no danger for human life/property.