Portugal asks for 2 more planes to fight wildfires

August 30, 2013 - 8:35 AM
APTOPIX Portugal Fires

A Portuguese firefighter works to extinguish a wildfire near Caramulo, north Portugal, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. Portuguese officials said a woman firefighter died in a forest blaze, becoming the fifth fatality among emergency crews in a month as summer wildfires scorch large areas of parched countryside. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Wildfires are scorching large areas of forest in Portugal and the country has asked other European nations to send two more water-dropping aircraft to help 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.

Some 1,300 firefighters were fighting six major blazes in the north of Portugal amid continuing hot weather and high winds.

The two biggest wildfires were in dense, hilly woodland near Viseu, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Lisbon, the capital.

More than 900 firefighters and 288 vehicles were deployed at those blazes.