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Madeira and Portugal hit by wildfires

Wildfires have spread across the island of Madeira and the north of Portugal, but vineyards are reported to be safe in both so far.

Portugal fire

A state of emergency has been declared in the Porto region since Sunday night (7 August).

Five hundred firefighters have been deployed near Porto, tackling the fires, which were caused by very high temperatures and strong winds in the area.

Adrian Bridge, managing director of Taylor’s Port, told Decanter.com ‘The fires are throughout the region [of Porto] but not impacting the vineyards, which are to the East of the main fires.’

‘In the city it is only the smoke that is impacting us. Sadly some people have lost their houses and businesses, and our thoughts are with them.’

Paul Symington, of Symington Family Estates, has been in the Douro and is ‘very relieved to say that so far there have been no serious fires here, although we can, at times, see large plumes of smoke from forest fires to the south and to the west.’

‘It has been very hot here, with temperatures of 36 degrees and more and no rain since June, so the scrubland and woods that surround our vineyards are tinder dry.’

‘We are concerned about the high risk of fires and hope that we do not have any outbreaks over the coming weeks before the harvest.’

Location and status of the fires can be followed here.

Madeira fire

The fires on the island of Madeira have been burning for two days.

Many buildings have been destroyed, including the five star Choupana Hills hotel and hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes.

However, Henriques & Henriques CEO Humberto Jardim said that both he, and the Madeira Institute, are not concerned so far about the fires as they are concentrated in Funchal and that there is no real worry about the vineyards for now.

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