Portugal officials: major wildfire is mostly under control

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Portugal officials: major wildfire is mostly under control
An airplane operates over a fire at the village of Chaveira, near Macao, in central Portugal on Monday, July 22, 2019. More than 1,000 firefighters are battling a major wildfire amid scorching temperatures in Portugal, where forest blazes wreak destruction every summer. About 90% of the fire area in the Castelo Branco district, 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) northeast of the capital Lisbon, has been brought under control during cooler overnight temperatures, according to a local Civil Protection Agency commander. (AP Photo/Sergio Azenha)

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Emergency services in Portugal say they have brought under control 90 percent of a huge wildfire which has raged for four days and injured 39 people.

But officials are warning Tuesday that forecasts for afternoon temperatures close to 40 degrees Celsius and gusting winds could drive the flames further through dense pine and eucalyptus forests on hilly terrain.

The Civil Protection Agency says just over 1,000 firefighters and 328 vehicles are continuing at the blaze. Local commander Luis Belo Costa tells a news conference that 17 water-dropping aircraft are also on standby.

Cooler night-time and morning temperatures are helping firefighters make progress against the blaze. Eleven bulldozers are being used to create firebreaks.

But Belo Costa says the rising temperatures and wind “will cause us problems.”