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Portugal shows solidarity to firefighters as wildfires rage through country

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-08-11 09:33

Portugal shows solidarity to firefighters as wildfires rage through country

Firefighters try to extinguish a forest fire near houses at Sao Joao Latrao, Funchal, Madeira island, Portugal August 10, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

LISBON - "Let's help the Firefighters", an initiative on social media organized by football club Sporting Lisbon, is calling on Portuguese citizens to donate food and drinks to the next game on Saturday.

The items will be given to the firefighters who have been battling the wild forest fires in past days. There have been a number of fires across mainland Portugal and in the Madeira island with almost 3,000 firefighters on the ground.

The supermarket Continente has told firefighters from areas ravaged by the fires to help themselves to staple foods for free.

The Paredes de Coura municipality has cancelled its yearly fireworks this summer and will give the amount it was going to spend on the festivities to help local firefighters.

On the holiday island of Madeira, the wildfires, which began on Monday, have killed three people and caused around 1,000 to be evacuated from their homes in the past days.

The government sent an airforce with firefighters to help on the island on Tuesday.

Portugal triggered the EU Civil Protection Mechanism on Wednesday to call for help especially for the island of Madeira where the situation is worse.

President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Wednesday visited places most affected by the fires and said it was urgent to think about ways to prevent fires.

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