Portugal went on a high alert on Thursday since the temperatures will break the record levels in the coming days. This prompted the government to warn of a high risk of forest fires after the worst fires in history last year.
Normally, the weather in Portugal has been relatively cool and wet so far in 2018 by comparing it to many countries in Europe. The government has gone to great lengths to ensure that the fires that killed 114 people in 2017 are not repeated.
In history, the highest temperature on record in the southern Alentejo region in Portugal was 47.3 degrees in 2003. However, several places in the Alentejo are forecast to reach 47 degrees while Lisbon could reach 43 degrees on Saturday. This is highly unusual for Portugal’s capital by the sea.
The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) said the heatwave that will hit in the coming days will be similar to 2003, the second worst year on record for forest fires in Portugal after 2017.
Greek wildfires killed 91 people last month is a reminder of the threat of deadly fires in southern Europe during this summer. Therefore, the Portuguese government issued a “situation alert”, in order to raise the readiness levels of firefighters, police and emergency medical services until August 6th. The is a ban on lighting fires and access to forests will be limited. The government said in a statement, “The Government will constantly monitor the situation and appeals to citizens to change their behaviors in consideration of the weather.”