62 dead in Portugal forest fires

PEDROGAO GRANDE, Portugal (Updated) — A raging forest fire in central Portugal killed at least 62 people as they desperately tried to flee, charring cars and trucks as it swept over roads.

The disaster — the worst tragedy Portugal has experienced in decades — shook the nation, with the president declaring that the country’s pain “knows no end.”

Almost 24 hours after the deaths on Saturday night, June 17, fires were still churning across the forested hillsides of central Portugal. Police and firefighters were searching charred areas of the forest and isolated homes, looking for more bodies.

“It is a time of pain but also … a time to carry on the fight” against the flames, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa told the nation in a televised address on Sunday evening, June 18, after the government declared three days of national mourning. Read More