These days that of the Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain massif in mainland Portugal, was the only large active fire in the country, but at the moment it is also the longest in duration, since it broke out last Saturday, 6 August, and the news coming from the front line is anything but reassuring. Environmental, meteorological and even logistical problems, according to the accusation of some mayors, such as that of the town of Manteigas in statements to the press, have caused the flames to expand and, at the moment, they still seem far from being put out.
The Serra da Estrela is a natural park included in the Unesco Geopark network for only two years and over a tenth of its territory (14 thousand hectares according to the most updated data) was destroyed in a week. Once the fire has been put out, a team of Unesco technicians will have to inspect it and the hypothesis that the park will be declassified is not excluded.
At the moment about 1,700 firefighters and 500 cars are engaged in the fire extinguishing operations. Three of them were hospitalized yesterday in serious condition due to a rollover of one of these cars.
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