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More than 1,000 firefighters deployed to central Portugal to put out nearly 20,000 acre wildfire

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dpa, Hamburg, Germany

About 1,000 firefighters continued to battle forest fires raging in central Portugal on Monday, according to local media.

The fires near the districts of Vila de Rei and Macao, about 200 kilometres north-east of Lisbon, had died down somewhat, but several villages were still in danger, Publico newspaper reported, citing civil protection authorities.

The firefighters are deploying more than 300 vehicles on two separate fronts, the report said.

Temperatures of up to 40 degrees, low humidity and strong winds made it difficult to fight the flames, which have been raging since Saturday afternoon.

At least eight people were injured over the weekend by blazes and several homes destroyed.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa cancelled all appointments over the weekend to follow the fight against the fires.

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