Portuguese radio says 25 people killed in forest fires

There were 156 fires on Saturday, he said.

Greece experienced its deadliest fires a decade ago.

"There are people who arrived saying they didn't want to die in their homes, which were surrounded by flames", said Ansiao resident Ricardo Tristao.

Death toll expected to rise, with firefighters battling at least 60 forest fires that started in Pedrogao Grande area. He said there was no information on the other two deaths.

Temperatures in the area have hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in recent days.

The government has declared three days of mourning to pay tribute to victims who lost their lives.

Secretary of State for the Interior Jorge Gomes stated the flames spread on four fronts "with great violence". The fires on the tourist island of Madeira in August 2016 cost lives of three people, while throughout the year as many as 40 homes were destroyed and 5,400 hectares of land was burnt.

The southern European country is prone to forest fires in the dry summer months.


In a tweet, Mr Modi said, he is sad to learn about the tragic incident. "It is an authentic inferno, we have never seen anything like that", Pedrogao Grande Mayor Valdemar Alves told reporters.

Firefighters work to put out the forest fire which has killed more than 50 people.

Pope Francis offered his condolences in his Sunday prayers while EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker hailed the bravery of the firefighters.

Portugal's team is in Russian Federation, where it is set to start the Confederations Cup later on Sunday against Mexico. "All will be done to assist the authorities and people of Portugal at this time of need". "In addition, Spain has also sent aircraft on a bilateral basis". According to an initial analysis by the Judicial Police, the fire was caused by a dry thunderstorm, Gomes said. At least 62 people have died in the fire, most fleeing on roads. "We have provided support to a number of British people caught up in the incident and stand ready to support any others who may be affected".

A local resident Isabel Brandao told The Associated Press: "Yesterday we saw the fire but thought it was very far. If it had rained, this would not happen".

In what is a heavily forested region, roads are vulnerable to the flames.

As Alison Roberts reports from Lisbon for our Newscast unit, officials believe a lightning strike is likely to blame for the Pedrog√£o Grande fire, and they have ruled out a criminal cause.

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