ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Fires raged in Santa Cruz on Madeira Island and Sao Bras de Alportel in the Southern’ Algarve region of Portugal Sunday.
In Madeira, wildfires forced the evacuation of dozens of villagers from their homes.
Dozens of people retreated to Assomada, the county of Santa Cruz, after the flames threatened their homes. Portugal had suffered from a severe drought this year before being hit by scorching summer temperatures this week, triggering intense forest blazes.
Portugal has had relatively few forest fires in the past two years as temperatures were low and rainfall high. But this year’s drought, coupled with scorching weather, poses a threat that fires will escalate during the hottest period in late July and August.