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Portugal forest fire death toll likely to rise

4 years 11 months 1 week ago Sunday, June 18 2017 Jun 18, 2017 June 18, 2017 1:28 PM June 18, 2017 in News
Source: Associated Press

LISBON, Portugal - Portugal's prime minister says the death toll in the country's deadliest wildfire in memory is likely to rise.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa said Sunday that 61 deaths are confirmed but, "for sure, we are going to find some more victims." The wind-fueled blaze swept through the area around Pedrogao Grande, a town 150 kilometers (95 miles) northeast of Lisbon.
Authorities say police are looking for bodies among the numerous isolated houses in the hills around Pedrogao Grande, which are thick with pine and eucalyptus forests.
Interior Minister Constanca Urbano de Sousa says "extremely adverse" weather conditions are preventing the fire being contained. Giant clouds of smoke punctuated the horizon as the sun set.
Strong winds, temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius and tinder-dry forests have fueled the fire, which started Saturday. Officials say reinforcements, including more firefighters, water-dumping planes and army units, were due to arrive Monday.

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