Summer Wildfires Claim 6th Life in Portugal

September 5, 2013

Portugal’s prime minister says fire officials are tightening safety procedures after an 18-year-old firefighter became the sixth fatality among emergency crews battling summer wildfires.

Authorities said the firefighter died in hospital late Tuesday from injuries he sustained in a major blaze last week that killed a 21-year-old female firefighter at the scene. Another firefighter hurt in that blaze is still seriously ill in hospital.

The Portuguese Forest and Nature Conservation Institute says wildfires charred more than 94,000 hectares (232,274 acres) of forest up to the end of August. That is 25 percent more than in the same period last year amid an exceptionally hot summer.

Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho described this year’s fire season as “deeply tragic.”

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