Portugal: Over 60 municipalities at maximum risk of fire as temperatures rise

More than 60 municipalities in Portugal, mainly in the northern and central interior, were on Wednesday at maximum risk of fire, according to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA), which predicted a small rise in temperature in the interior.

The alert previously decreed by the government is no longer in force, but according to IPMA, besides the rise in temperature, the wind was still set to blow strongly in the coastal strip and in the highlands.

In addition to more than 60 municipalities in the districts of Bragança, Guarda, Viseu, Castelo Branco, Portalegre, Santarém and Faro that are at maximum risk of fire, IPMA puts much of the northern and central region, and some municipalities in the Algarve, at very high risk.

At high risk were more than 50 municipalities in the districts of Braga, Porto, Aveiro, Leiria, Santarém, Lisbon, Portalegre, Évora, Beja and Faro. 

The fire risk defined by IPMA is calculated from air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and amount of precipitation in the last 24 hours. It has five levels, which go from reduced to maximum.

IPMA predicted a cloudy morning for the central coast, winds at times strong in the coastal strip and highlands, and a small rise in temperature in the interior regions.

Maximum temperatures were seen varying between 22º (Aveiro) and 39º (Évora) and minimums between 15º (Bragança, Aveiro, Coimbra and Leiria) and 24º in Portalegre.