56 people were injured, 16 of them seriously, and nine people were reported missing in the blazes, according Civil Protection Agency spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar. She also predicted the death toll could rise. Emergency services recorded 523 wildfires Sunday, the highest number in a single day this year and the highest on one day in more than a decade. More than 5,300 firefighters with more than 1,600 vehicles were still battling the fires through dense pine and eucalyptus forests Monday.
Wildfire at the Portugal – Spain border
The authorities in Portugal declared a state of emergency in affected areas over the weekend. Northern Spain was affected too. Across the border in Spain, fires reached the outskirts of the port city of Vigo. A car factory was forced to temporarily close. The Spanish authorities said that more than 90 fires were burning in the northern regions of Galicia and Asturias. Investigators are looking at human causes. Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of Galicia, said on Monday that many of the fires had started as acts of arson. In Portugal the state owns about 3 percent of the country’s forests and does not have a proper registry of forest landowners. Portugal’s forests have been burning repeatedly this year.