Secretary of State says latest fires are of criminal origin.

The Secretary of State for Internal Administration, Jorge Gomes, has no “way of proving”, but considers that several of the forest fires that have arisen in the last hours in the country have “criminal origin”.

These are fires that “someone really wants to provoke,” he told the Lusa news agency, the official, who is traveling to Pampilhosa da Serra (Coimbra district) in the afternoon, where, from 23:20 on Friday a fire that, at that time, progressed on five fronts.

“It is the will to burn that continues to prevail and create this instability in the country and in the people,” said Jorge Gomes, noting that “this is not forgivable at all.”

“This is something abnormal, not only because of the weather,” characterized by a long period of drought and high temperatures, but also because many of these fires “started at night,” he said.

“The fire in Pampilhosa da Serra started at 11 p.m. [Friday] and there were three attempts to create it,” said the official, adding that “firefighters were able to erase the first attempt” and when they “walked to erase the second [attempt], “a third focus emerged, ending with a fire  developing with the dimension that is now recorded.

Also in Ribeira de Pena, in the Vila Real district, the fire “began at about 01.30 hrs today”, reaching now “some proportions”, the Secretary of State also pointed out. Porto) the flames began during the night.

“Just to give another example,” Jorge Gomes recalled that in Marco de Canaveses the fire that is burning with intensity in this district of Porto district “was born in four different points”, while the fires in Ansião and Pombal, in the district of Leiria, meanwhile already dominated, originated on Friday at precisely the same time (14:14).

On the fire in Pampilhosa da Serra, which has since advanced to the municipality of Arganil, where two of its fronts have been pumped more intensely, the secretary of state said he hoped that the flames could be overcome with night-time cooling.

The fire in those two municipalities in the interior of the district of Coimbra is one of the 87 forest fires that continue to work in the territory of the continent, mobilizing by 19:15, about 2,900 operational, more than 800 vehicles and eight aerial means, according to the page of the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) on the internet.


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