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Fires in Portugal and Spain
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Fires in Portugal and Spain

October 14, 2005

Several large and smoky wildfires (outlined in red) were burning across Spain and Portugal in the hot, dry conditions of early October 2005.

Portugal has been plagued with devastating wildfires this season, particularly in July and August; over 134,500 hectares (337,000 acres) of forest were destroyed and 13 people were killed.

Spain experienced a devastating fire in July, causing the death of about 11 volunteer firefighters, the evacuation of thousands, and the destruction of 10,000 to 12,000 hectares (25,000-30,000 acres) of forest; the blaze was later found to have been caused accidentally by a campfire.

Much of the Iberian Peninsula, which includes Spain and Portugal, is experiencing severe drought and high temperatures this year; Spain is in the midst of a record-setting drought, the worst since record keeping began in the 1940's. The government of Spain reported that thousands of wildfires occur there every year and over 90% of them are caused by people.



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