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Portugal seeks EC aid for fire outbreak

Sept. 4, 2012 at 8:56 AM

LISBON, Portugal, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Portugal has asked for assistance from the European Commission to control 18 forest fires raging throughout the country.

Efforts by firefighters to contain the blazes are hampered by temperatures of more than 86 degrees and wind gusts as high as 25 mph, The Portugal News Online reported.

Portugal is asking the EC to provide emergency fire fighting resources. In just one blaze, in Vidigueira, in the district of Beja, 169 firefighters are working three different fronts with 44 vehicles and two air tankers.

The fire threat suspended rail service between Pombal and Fatima during the weekend.

David Sharrock, a spokesman for the European Commission, said the "information had now been shared with member states and other participant countries that ... are now evaluating if and how they may provide the assistance requested."

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