Portuguese firefighters battle new forest fires

About 350 firefighters fought five forest fires Tuesday in northern Portugal, fire officials said.

High temperatures, some reaching 37 Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit) in Southern parts of the country, were placing at least three districts at high risk for fires and one at maximum risk, weather services said.

Wildfires have claimed the lives of 15 people, including 11 firefighters this year.

The president of the National Authority for Forest Fires, Ferreira do Amaral, estimated last week the blazes burned through 180,000 hectares (445,000 acres) so far, more than the total area burned last year, reports the AP.

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