Raging Portugal wildfires force hundreds of tourists to flee apocalyptic inferno

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Hundreds of tourists have been caught up in the terrifying flames (Image: LUIS FORRA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Hundreds of tourists have been caught up in the terrifying flames (Image: LUIS FORRA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Hundreds of terrified tourists have been evacuated from dream holidays in southern Portugal after wildfires continue to rage out of control.

The huge blaze has destroyed thousands of hectares of land in the area of Odemira, in the Alentejo region, since the disaster started on Saturday. It has now spread south towards the Algarve, prompting the evacuation of 1,400 people which includes tourists staying at four resorts in the holiday destination, as well as 19 small villages.

Efforts by hundreds of firefighters to control the flames are being hampered by high temperatures which have reached 40C and strong winds. Satellite photos showed huge amounts of smoke billowing from the areas.

Raging Portugal wildfires force hundreds of tourists to flee apocalyptic inferno erideuiqtqiqdrinvThe disaster is the latest wildfire to hit Europe this summer (PAULO CUNHA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Odemira's mayor, Helder Guerreiro, described the situation as "critical, difficult and complex" in an update on the disaster.

At least four people, all firefighters, are believed to have been injured in the flames. Several roads have been temporarily blocked off as Portuguese weather agency IPMA on Monday put six districts in the country, including the capital, Lisbon, on red alert.

Gales, snow and rain to batter country today with 80mph wind gustsGales, snow and rain to batter country today with 80mph wind gusts

Civil Protection commander Jose Ribeiro said there was still a "lot of work" to do to bring the wildfire under control.

Raging Portugal wildfires force hundreds of tourists to flee apocalyptic infernoA woman walks on the A1 motorway as flames burn nearby (PAULO CUNHA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Civil Protection secretary of state Patricia Gaspar added: “The weather conditions we are going to experience in the coming days means any small occurrence ( fire ) could become a big one.”

August is usually the hottest month of the year in Portugal.

The huge fires in Portugal follows extreme weather in July which caused havoc across the planet, with record temperatures recorded in China, the United States and parts of southern Europe.

Raging Portugal wildfires force hundreds of tourists to flee apocalyptic infernoThousands of hectares have already been destroyed by the fire (LUIS FORRA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The issued updated travel alerts for Brits planning summer holidays in the likes of Spain, Greece and Italy this summer as Europe continues to be hit by terrifying wildfires.

meant thousands of people were evacuated, while in Sicily an airport was shut down overnight due to the flames. Meanwhile the Balearic Islands due to the risk of wildfires for locals and tourists.

Brits currently looking to book holidays have also been warned to if they choose to plan a holiday somewhere where it's known there have been wildfires. Different blazes also affected mainland Greece, in a region on the outskirts of Athens.

Raging Portugal wildfires force hundreds of tourists to flee apocalyptic infernoA man attempts to fight the wildfire with a bucket of water (LUIS FORRA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The Foreign Office warns in its guidance: "Extreme temperatures are affecting many areas of Greece. There are active wildfires across Greece, including in populated areas on the mainland and a number of islands. Wildfires are highly dangerous and unpredictable. The situation can change quickly. Follow on Twitter for official updates. Read the "

Brits due to travel to an area affected by wildfires are urged to get in touch with their travel operator or accommodation provider before they travel.

Antony Clements-Thrower

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