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Wildfires in Portugal
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Where the Portugal wildfires are and what it means for your trip

After temperatures reached 46.4C in Portugal, red warnings for extreme heat were issued across multiple regions

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

Many regions in Europe have experienced record-breaking heat so far this summer, with wildfires spreading across Spain, Greece and Italy. And now, Portugal has become the latest country to be hit with extreme temperatures. In what is now the third heatwave of the year to hit the Iberian peninsula, temperatures reached a scorching 46.4C. 

Sadly, it seems the heatwave is set to be longer and more intense than the previous two, and these conditions are only set to continue in the future due to the impacts of climate change. 

Where are the wildfires in Portugal? 

After a fire began in Odemira over the weekend, 1,400 people have been evacuated. The fire then moved south into the Algarve, Portugal’s tourism hotspot, due to strong winds. The Alentejo region on Portugal’s west coast is the spot that is most affected. 

According to the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere, (IPMA), the following regions have the highest risk in the south: Monchique, Loule, Sao Bras de Alportel, Tavira, Castro Marim and Alcoutim.

Braganca, Castelo Branco and Guarda are all on red alert for extreme heat, and over half of Portugal is on maximum wildfire alert. Nineteen villages have been badly damaged by the fires, as well as 16,600 acres of land. The A1 between Lisbon and Porto has partly been closed. 

Are airlines still flying to Portugal? 

Faro Airport in the Algarve is still operating as normal. 

Can I cancel my trip and get a refund? 

It depends on where you are due to go and if you have a package holiday. According to the Package Travel Regulations, packages can be cancelled and refunded or rescheduled if they are ‘significantly affected’. However, it’s likely that if your travel company can still get you to an unaffected hotel, you are not entitled to a refund. 

As there is currently no official advice against non-essential travel to Portugal, a refund looks unlikely in most cases.

What is the UK Foreign Office saying? 

The Foreign Office has said that ‘Forest fires can occur anywhere in Portugal. Risk of fires is higher when the weather is hot and dry. Fires have become more common due to drought and high temperatures. Forest fires have become highly dangerous and unpredictable. The Portuguese authorities may evacuate areas and close roads for safety reasons.’ 

They specifically advise familiarising yourself with local safety measures, following advice from Portuguese authorities, and calling emergency services if you see a fire on 112. 

The Foreign Office has not advised against travel to Portugal or the Algarve.

Am I covered by my travel insurance? 

If your travel insurance includes disruption or natural disaster cover, you should be covered for the impacts of the wildfires, but make sure to check your policy. As non-essential travel has not been officially advised against, cancellation costs won’t be covered by your insurance. 

Are there fires anywhere else in Europe?

Greece, Italy and Spain have all been affected by wildfires over the last month because of the extreme heat. Read our explainers on the wildfires in Greece and Sicily

Here’s everything you need to know about the heatwave in Europe.

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