WATCH: Viral Video Shows the Scope of Large Fires Scorching Portugal
They can cut off the rain whenever and wherever they wish, for as long as they wish. The mass burning continues. – DW
By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
August 30, 2013; 5:00 PM
Summers are often dry across Portugal; however, most of the nation has received no rainfall so far in August.
In fact, dating back to the end of June, northern Portugal has only received roughly 10 percent of their normal precipitation.
This long stretch of dry weather, combined with unseasonable warmth and some gusty winds, has resulted in wildfires across northern and central parts of the nation.
Since the onset of the wildfires this year, there have been five confirmed fatalities with four more emergency workers missing, according to Euronews.
A Portuguese firefighter stands as a water-bombing plane spreads water to extinguish a fire in Adsamo, near Vouzela, Portugal, Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Latest reports indicate at least 2,000 firefighters are actively working to control a number of fires across the region.
The fires have been so bad that Portugal began seeking aid from Spain and France to battle the blazes.
Jorge Dias, spokesman for Portugal’s National Civil Protection Authority, said Friday that France and Spain have each sent three Canadair planes designed for dropping water on wildfires, but more are needed.
A Portuguese firefighter is seen through the smoke wild working on a fire near Tondela, near Viseu, Portugal, Thursday night, Aug. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Portugal’s Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests has said that more than 75,000 acres have burned across the country so far this year.
Unfortunately, dry and hot weather is expected to prevail through next Tuesday, providing little aid to firefighters battling the blazes.
Cooler weather and even perhaps some rainfall will be possible during the second half of next week as a cold front finally pushes into northern Portugal.