Wildfires sweep Portugal for the third day as officials send in more than 800 firefighters and nine airplanes to tackle huge blaze in wake of 115F heatwave

Monday, August 6, 2018
By Paul Martin

Large forest fire in Monchique in the south of Portugal has continued to rage on two fronts overnight
Hundreds of guests were told to leave the Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa at just after midnight
Flames had come withing one mile of the hotel, part of a British chain, and fire was visible from resort
Blaze, which can be seen from the Algarve half an hour’s drive away, is being tackled by 1,150 firefighters

6 August 2018

British holidaymakers have been evacuated from a five-star hotel on the Algarve in Portugal, after a wildfire came dangerously close to the upmarket resort.

Hundreds of tourists were told to leave the Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa in Monchique, some 20 miles north of Portimao, just after midnight.

Staff, who confirmed that a majority of guests were British, said they had been ordered to evacuate as the forest fire came within a mile of the hotel and flames cold be seen from the windows.

More than 1,150 firefighters are still struggling to put out the fire which started on Friday, and grew over the weekend during the heatwave currently sweeping large parts of Europe.

A worker at the hotel, part of the British Macdonald hotel chain, described the night as ‘rough’ and confirmed guests were still not back.

He said: ‘Firefighters and the local town hall asked us to evacuate. We could see the flames because the fire was only about one to two kilometres away.

The hotel’s maximum capacity is 500 people and most of our guests at this time of the year are British.

‘Everyone was evacuated safely. We hope they can come back today but as things stand this morning they’re not back yet and are still at the hotels in Portimao they were taken to.’

Although he was not able to specify the exact number of people ordered to leave, overnight reports said the hotel had been about 70 per cent full when the evacuation took place.

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