As temperatures soar over the next few days, more than 60 municipalities in Portugal are currently at very high risk of fire, according to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA).
The affected districts are Vila Real, Braga, Porto, Aveiro, Viseu, Coimbra, Castelo Branco, Leiria, Santarém, Portalegre, Lisbon and Faro.
The IPMA also placed the entire Alentejo region at high risk, along with around 50 other municipalities in Viana do Castelo, Porto, Braga, Coimbra, Leiria, Santarém, Lisbon and Faro. The remaining parts of the country present a moderate and low risk, depending on the region.
The maximum risk levels begin at 00:00 Saturday until 23 :59 on Monday, meaning the Civil Protection have reinforced and pre-positioned resources in the Algarve, Centre and North regions.
Calculations of the five fire risk levels, ranging from reduced to maximum, are obtained from air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and amount of precipitation in the last 24 hours.
The annual critical period of fires lasts until the end of September and, until then, it is prohibited to have bonfires or burn rubbish in heaps without authorisation, or to use BBQ's or grills throughout the countryside, and to smoke or make any kind of fire in the forest areas. It is also prohibited to launch balloons with a burning fuse, or rockets, or to carry out work in the forest that could cause sparks.
or today, IPMA predicts in mainland Portugal an increase in the temperature, generally clear skies, with morning cloudiness in the North and Center coasts and in the Algarve and sometimes strong winds in the western coastal strip and highlands.