LISBON, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- A forest fire that had been raging in the district of Coimbra, central Portugal since late last week was finally extinguished on Tuesday, according to the Lusa agency.
The fire began on Friday night in the village of Castanheira, in the Pampilhosa da Serra parish, and spread north to the Arganil parish. Several villages had to be evacuated and roads closed.
The National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) declared the fire extinguished at 11 o'clock Tuesday. Some 600 firemen had been deployed, with 177 support vehicles and 2 aircraft.
The fire was the worst of four major wild fires to be brought under control on Tuesday. Fires in Nelas, Sao Pedro do Sul and Castro Daire, in the neighboring district of Viseu, had occupied over 400 fire fighters.
The European System for Forest Fire Information (EFFIS) reported that the Pampilhosa da Serra fire consumed 6,500 hectares. This takes the area of land burned in Portugal so far this year up to 259,651 hectares, almost twice the average for the same period over the last eight years.
EFFIS also reported that 48 percent of all burned land in Europe this year is located in Portugal.