Portugal’s government is reporting major progress against wildfires that traditionally scorch the country each summer, saying Thursday the average annual number of blazes and charred area has fallen by more than half over the past three years compared with the previous decade.
Authorities enacted a broad range of measures after wildfires killed more than 100 people in 2017.
Though officials said climate change, including higher temperatures and lower rainfall, was partly to blame for the destruction, experts also identified poor forest management and preparedness as a cause of repeated outbreaks.
Authorities say they have opened more than 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles) of firebreaks in recent years.
Nobody has died in forest blazes in Portugal since 2017.
The government concedes, however, that much remains to be done to address the underlying causes of wildfires.
They include a migration of people from the countryside to urban areas, leaving large areas untended, and the large swathes of unbroken conifer forests and eucalyptus plantations, which are economically profitable but burn fiercely.
Australian wildfires destroy 81 homes across country’s westAustralia said on Thursday 81 homes have been destroyed by fires across the country’s west, as strong winds hamper efforts to extinguish the blazes. ... World News
Two killed in Algeria wildfire, say emergency servicesA wildfire has killed two people west of the Algerian capital, the emergency services said Saturday, one of a spate of seasonal blazes to hit the ... North Africa
Magnitude 4.6 earthquake rattles California as state continues wildfire fightA magnitude 4.6 earthquake struck Southern California late Friday night, according to the US Geological Survey.For all the latest headlines, follow ... World News
California wildfires: Homes destroyed after winds push flames into Mojave DesertHomes were destroyed Friday by an unrelenting wildfire that reached a Mojave Desert community and was still growing on several fronts after burning ... World News