Huge columns of fire, intense heat, lack of visibility: A Portuguese journalist filmed and commented on his journey Wednesday evening from a violent fire while traveling on the country's main highway, in plagued by a heat wave and forest fires.
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“I didn't expect this situation,” whispers Rui Tukayana, a reporter for Portuguese radio TSF, as he films a two-kilometre journey on the road with his phone. A1 highway, near Aveiro (north of the country).
On both sides of the track, the vegetation is consumed by an intense night fire, still active Thursday afternoon and fought by nearly 400 firefighters.
< p>Between the crackling of flames several meters high, creating a tunnel of fire, the journalist describes a “dangerous” scenario, explaining that he decides to close the windows of his car because it is “very hot” or that he sees “nothing” because of the smoke generated by the blaze.
Finally, he managed to get past the fire and heaved a great sigh of relief as he approached the exit which should allow him to reach Aveiro from Porto (further north). A few minutes after its passage, traffic will be temporarily interrupted on this section of the A1 motorway.
Hit for a week by the heat wave which has meanwhile reached other Western European countries, Portugal recorded temperatures above 40°C in many regions and even exceeding 45°C in places.
Stirred by the scorching heat, the fires of the past week have left one dead and around sixty injured, forced the evacuation of 860 people, and around sixty houses have been destroyed or damaged.
According to data from EFFIS, the European forest fire information system, the most important fires have ravaged in recent days in Portugal an area of approximately 13,500 hectares.