- Title: PORTUGAL: FIREFIGHTERS CONTINUE TO BATTLE WORST FOREST FIRES IN A GENERATION.
- Date: 5th August 2003
- Summary: (W8) SEMIDEIRO VILLAGE, 120KMS NORTH OF LISBON, PORTUGAL (AUGUST 4, 2003) (REUTERS- ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/PAN/GV: PAN OF FIRE ENGINE; FIREMEN FIGHTING THE BLAZE; PEOPLE HELPING TO FIGHT BLAZE; FIREMEN (5 SHOTS) 0.36 2. MCU: SOUNDBITE (PORTUGUESE) FIREFIGHTER FERNANDO MENDES: "Our main concern was to stop the fire from moving to the another side (north). At the moment the wind helps, but if it (the fire) passes to the other side we haven't any chance to control it." 0.47 3. LV/GV: FOREST IN FLAMES; PLANE DROPPING WATER; FIRE IN PROGRESS; HELICOPTER DROPPING WATER (7 SHOTS) 1.39 4. MCU: SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) LAND OWNER, JOAO MALTEZ, SAYING: "It is a tragedy for all people around the village who depend exclusively on the forest. There are great investments here. I don't know how people will survive. Its a socio-economic problem as the whole area depends on forestry." 1.57 5. LV: AREAS BADLY BURNED WITH SAFE HOUSES NEAR 2.07 6. GV/MV: HOUSE DESTROYED BY FIRE; INSIDE HOUSE (4 SHOTS) 2.31 (W8) CHAO DE LUCAS VILLAGE, NEAR SEMIDEIRO (AUGUST 4, 2003)(REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 7. GV/GV/PAN: FIRE ERUPTING; FIREMEN FIGHTING FLAMES (4 SHOTS) 3.12 (W8) VALE DE CANIERO, NEAR ROSSIO AO SUL DOTEJO VILLAGE, PORTUGAL 8. VARIOUS: PAN ALONG WOODED HILL; PEOPLE WATCHING; HIGHWAY LINK TO LISBON ENGULFED BY FIRE; CARS ESCAPING FROM THE FLAMES (13 SHOTS) 4.44 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVAD62BOOIL9XEOJBUU7QIELXNX4
- Location: VARIOUS, PORTUGAL
- Country: Portugal
- Duration: 00:04:44
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Fires in Portugal have flared amid a heatwave
stretching from Russia to the Iberian Penninsula.
Weary firefighters looked to the wind on Monday
(August 4) to help save a small town from forest fires
that are the worst Portugal has seen in a generation.
The ash-blackened volunteers were fighting to protect
Semideiro, a town of 1,500 people about 100 km (60 miles)
northeast of Lisbon, as the government declared the
devastating fires sweeping the country a national disaster.
Semideiro, which relies on its surrounding pine and
eucalyptus forests for much of its livelihood, is toward the
southern edge of a zone of fires stretching deep into
Portugal' central mountains.
Nine lives have already been claimed in the past few
days by fires that have erupted across Portugal after weeks
drought. Firefighters at Semideiro were battling
temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees
Fahrenheit) that have fanned the flames.
Many of the fires have taken days to put out. Forestry
officials estimate 54,000 hectares (133,000 acres) of
woodlands have been destroyed in the last week.
The fires come as another blow to the Semideiro and its
district. Like much of interior Portugal, its largely rural
population has shrunk in the last decade as businesses and
jobs shift to the coast.
"I don't know how people will survive. Its a
socio-economic problem as the whole area depends on
forestry," said Joao Maltez, who saw flames sweep through
all 600 hectares (1,500 acres) of woodland he owned.
In nearby Chao de Lucas, exhausted firefighters with
handkerchiefs tied around their soot-blackened faces rested
a highway from battling a fire raging in a pine forest.
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- Embargoed:20th August 2003 13:00