More than 1,000 firefighters were still battling Portugal's deadliest forest blaze on Monday after it killed at least 62 people over the weekend. Mia Womersley reports.
Portugal's deadliest forest fire is still raging. At least 62 people have been killed and more than 1,000 firefighters continue to battle the inferno on Monday (June 19). It started on Saturday (June 17) morning in the mountains 200 kilometres north-east of Portugal's capital. Prime Minister Antonio Costa has called it the biggest human tragedy in the country in living memory. Light rain brought only modest relief to the shocked population and exhausted firefighters. Water planes, including French and Spanish ones, resuming their missions after stopping overnight. The government insisting that the emergency response was swift and sufficient but many think it could have been better - especially in a country used to major forest fires: Police say the fire probably started when lightening struck a tree. The region has been hit by an intense heat wave and dry, gusty winds, which would have fanned the flames. Regardless, a criminal investigation into the causes is also underway. Many forest fires in Portugal are caused by arson or carelessness.