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Portugal battles wildfires amid third heatwave of the year


Firefighters in Portugal are battling to contain wildfires engulfing thousands of hectares amid soaring temperatures.


Around 800 personnel attended a fire near the southern town of Odemira overnight on Monday, with more than 1,400 people having to evacuate.

At least nine firefighters have been injured tackling the fires.


Temperatures in excess of 40C (104F) are expected to hit much of the Iberian peninsula this week.


Three major fires that scorched hundreds of hectares in Spain over the weekend have been brought under control, but weather alerts remain in place across much of the country.


In Portugal, Monday saw a temperature of 46.4C (116F), the hottest of the year so far, recorded in Santarém.


The fire near Odemira began on Saturday and was driven south into the hilly interior of the Algarve, Portugal's main tourism region, by strong winds.


It has so far destroyed some 6,700 hectares (16,600 acres) of land, while a total of 19 villages, four tourist accommodations and a camping site have been evacuated.

The town's mayor, Helder Guerreiro, has said the situation is "critical, difficult, and complex".

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