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Devastating wildfires scorch areas of Spain and Portugal

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A charred forest during a wildfire near Altura, eastern Spain, on Friday, Aug. 19. Up to early August, 43 large wildfires — those affecting at least 500 hectares (1,235 acres) — were recorded in the Mediterranean country by the Ministry for Ecological transition, while the average in previous years was 11. The European Forest Fire Information System estimates a burned surface of 284,764 hectares (704,000 acres) in Spain this year. That's four times higher than the average since records began in 2006.
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A firefighter in action during extinguishing works of a wildfire near Altura, eastern Spain, on Friday, Aug. 19.
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A firefighter in action during extinguishing works of a wildfire near Altura, eastern Spain, on Friday, Aug. 19.
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Clouds of smoke rise during a wildfire near Altura, eastern Spain, on Friday, Aug. 19.
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A forest burns during a wildfire near Altura, eastern Spain, on Friday, Aug. 19.
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Clouds of smoke rise during a wildfire near Altura, eastern Spain, on Friday, Aug. 19.
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A charred traffic sign after a wildfire near Altura, eastern Spain, on Friday, Aug. 19.
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Local residents use garden hoses to water their houses and try to protect them from an approaching wildfire in Gouveia, in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, in Portugal Thursday, Aug. 18. Authorities in Portugal said Thursday they had brought under control a wildfire that for almost two weeks raced through pine forests in the Serra da Estrela national park, but later in the day a new fire started and threatened Gouveia.
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A firefighter is silhouetted against a raging wildfire in Gouveia, in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, in Portugal on Thursday, Aug. 18.
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Firefighters battling a wildfire are engulfed in smoke, in Gouveia, in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, in Portugal on Thursday, Aug. 18.
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A volunteer is engulfed in smoke while using a tree branch to try to stop a wildfire in Gouveia, in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, in Portugal on Thursday, Aug. 18.
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Workers of a retirement home, in the background, hold tree branches to fight an approaching wildfire in Gouveia, in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, in Portugal on Thursday, Aug. 18. Soon after, firefighters arrived stopping the fire from reaching the buildings.
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A firefighters works to stop a wildfire in Gouveia, in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, in Portugal on Thursday, Aug. 18.
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Firefighters work to stop a wildfire in Gouveia, in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, in Portugal on Thursday, Aug. 18.
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Fire spreads along a country road in Gouveia, in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, in Portugal on Thursday, Aug. 18.
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Firefighters battle a wildfire in Gouveia, in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, in Portugal Thursday, Aug. 18.
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Charred trees after a wildfire near Vale da Amoreira, Portugal on Friday, Aug. 19.

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