A firefighter works to put out the flames in the municipality of Odemira, on Monday. Photo by Luis Forra/EPA-EFE
Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Hundreds of people have been evacuated around Portugal's most southern region of Algarve on Tuesday as firefighters continue to battle the blaze that started over the weekend.
As many as 1,400 people had been moved out of 19 villages, four tourist areas and a camping site after the blaze began in Odemira, just south of Portugal's capital of Lisbon.
The fire has burned some 16,000 acres of land and officials said the high temperatures and strong winds made it harder for crews to extinguish.
The strong winds pushed the blaze to Algarve, prompting evacuations at the popular tourist destination.
The mayor of Odemira, Helder Guerreiro, called the situation around the city "critical, difficult and complex." The Portugues Weather Agency, the IPMA, placed six districts under a "red alert" on Monday.
Fire crews deployed 16 waterbombing aircraft to support the firefighters on the ground. In neighboring Spain, fire has burned nearly 2,500 acres in near the coastal cities of Cadiz and Huelva along with the northern Catalonia region.
The fires have become a common sight in Europe this year, with forecasters saying this past month was the hottest on record.
Last month, forest fires on the Greek island of Corfu forced authorities to evacuate more than 2,400 people from 17 settlements, while rescue operations on Rhodes continued as well. Countries from as far away as Egypt gave helicopters and other equipment to Greece to fight the spat of wildfires.