Major Portuguese wildfire defies attempts to halt it

Emergency services in Portugal are struggling for a sixth day to contain a major wildfire blackening hills in the country’s southern Algarve region.

The Civil Protection Agency said Wednesday that almost 2,000 firefighters from across Portugal were deployed at the blaze, the highest number yet.

They were supported by six aircraft and more than 380 vehicles.

After recent torrid weather, temperatures were getting back to normal, with 31 C (88 F) forecast for the Algarve.

Gusting winds have made the battle more difficult, though firefighters working in the night managed to stop one front reaching the town of Silves, a popular tourist spot and home to about 6,000 people.

High clouds of black smoke have towered over Portugal’s Algarve region, which is a top European vacation destination.

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