More than a thousand evacuated as wildfires spread towards Portuguese tourist hotspot near the Algarve

8 August 2023, 08:49

Odemira, Portugal
Odemira, Portugal. Picture: Getty/Google/Social Media
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

More than a thousand people have been evacuated from the Portuguese town of Odemira as the country battles raging wildfires.

Some 800 firefighters attended a blaze on Monday, with authorities evacuating around 1,400 people.

Nine firefighters were injured tackling the wildfire, which started as temperatures soar towards 40C on the Iberian peninsula.

The town is north of Portugal's Faro district, which is home to the Algarve.

Wildfires spread towards the Algarve
Wildfires spread towards the Algarve. Picture: social media

Odemira's mayor, Helder Guerreiro, said the situation was "critical, difficult and complex".

It comes amid soaring temperatures, as Santarém in Portugal recorded 46.4C on Monday, the hottest temperature of the year so far.

Read More: Exact date 33C heatwave will hit UK after weekend of wet and windy weather

Read More: Stormy weather across northern Europe delays ferry services and flights

The Odemira fire started on Saturday, before moving south towards the Algarve, Portugal's most popular tourist hotspot.

Some 16,600 acres of land has been destroyed, while 19 villages, four tourist accommodations and a camping site have been evacuated.

More than 1,000 people have been evacuated
More than 1,000 people have been evacuated. Picture: Getty
The fire is blazing near the Algarve in Odemira
The fire is blazing near the Algarve in Odemira. Picture: Google Maps

In Portugal, there are around 120 areas across the country that could be hit by wildfires.

Much of Europe has been hit by scorching temperatures this summer, near record levels in Spain, Italy, and Greece.

All three countries have experienced raging wildfires, driven partly by the hot weather.