Seven firefighters injured in new Portugal forest blaze

Lisbon (AFP) –


Seven firefighters were injured, two of them critically, as they fought a forest fire Monday near the central Portuguese town of Tramagal, emergency services said.

The blaze, which started around noon, was largely under control by afternoon and "no longer presents a risk for the population and the affected zones," emergency services chief Jose Guilherme said on Portuguese television.

The two critically injured firefighters sustained second-degree burns, spokesman Jorge Dias said, while the others had less severe burns or suffered from smoke inhalation.

Some 170 firefighters and 50 vehicles however were still fighting the blaze.

The latest forest fire comes two weeks after a giant blaze broke out at Pedrogao Grande, about 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Tramagal, and spread to adjacent central areas including Gois, Pampilhosa da Serra and Arganil.

That fire raged for five days, killing 64 people and injuring more than 250, with many trapped in their cars by the flames.

Following the tragedy, experts said Portugal is likely to see more massive forest fires because the country is highly exposed to global warming's climate-altering impacts.