"The survey of the losses is not yet concluded", but the Mayor of Pampilhosa da Serra, in the interior of the district of Coimbra, said that the flames burned "more than 200 hectares of forest, essentially of pine forest, but also of eucalyptus".

In addition to the forest stain, there is no record of any other type of significant damage, particularly in houses and property, he added.

The forest now affected is close to 20 years old, said the mayor, referring that these are trees that resulted from “natural regeneration, following the last major fire”, in 2001, in that area.

The fire, which broke out at 1pm on Saturday, 4 July, in Janeiro de Baixo, in the municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra, and which was subdued shortly after 10pm, came to mobilise close to six hundred operatives, more than 150 land and 15 air means.

“If it was not for the mobilisation of such a large number of means we would have had a fire for days”, admitted José Brito, noting that in the fight against flames several forces were involved, from special fire brigades to means of the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF), was exemplified.

The fact that we are facing a “very dense and disordered” forest area, mainly because it results from spontaneous regeneration, combined with circumstances such as the weather observed that day (characterised by high temperatures and erratic winds) and the steep slopes of the terrain made it difficult fighting flames, he explained.

The size of the affected forest area, the density of the vegetation and the characteristics of the terrain also require a prolonged aftermath operation, involving around 150 operational and several means, namely six crawler machines, to open firebreaks, to halt or at least hinder the progression of possible reignites, underlined José Brito.

According to the page of the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC), they remained on the ground, at 12:20, 155 operational, assisted by 48 vehicles.

At the same time, according to the same source, a total of 14 rural fires were registered in the territory of the continent, four of which are ongoing, mobilising, in total, 306 operational and 80 vehicles (about half of which in Pampilhosa de Serra) and four aerial means.