Firefighters were still battling Portugal's deadliest forest blaze on June 19 after it killed at least 62 people. (Reuters)
A forest fire that ignited on Saturday in central Portugal has now claimed 62 lives, the Portuguese government said on Sunday, marking one of the worst disasters in the country's recent history. "We don't have memory of such a human tragedy," said Prime Minister António Costa to reporters.
The fire has prompted offers of help from across Europe: Reuters reported that the European Union has promised firefighting aircraft, while Spain has already send two such planes to help. The Portuguese government has sent 700 firefighters along with 260 soldiers to fight the fire.
Most of the victims of the fire died near the town of Pedrogao Grande on Saturday night when flames overtook a road people were using to flee the fire, authorities said. The government has declared three days of mourning for the "irreparable loss of human life."
Here's what the blaze — and the efforts to contain it — looks like.
An airplane flies over the forest fire in Ribeira de Alge, Figueiro dos Vinhos on June 18, 2017. (Paulo Cunha/European Pressphoto Agency)
A local resident watches flames in Vale das Porcas, Alvaiazere, central Portugal, on June 18, 2017. (Paulo Cunha/European Pressphoto Agency)
Portuguese National Republican Guard firefighters work to stop a forest fire from reaching the village of Avelar, central Portugal, at sunrise on June 18, 2017. (Armando Franca/Associated Press)
Burned cars on the N236 road between Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera, near Pedrogao Grande, central Portugal, on June 18, 2017. Many of the victims of the fire were trapped in their cars as flames swept over a road on the evening of June 17. (Miguel A. Lopes/European Pressphoto Agency)
Portuguese Republican National Guard soldiers battle with a forest fire in Capela Sao Neitel, Alvaiazere, central Portugal, on June 18 2017. (Paulo Cunha/European Pressphoto Agency)
A wildfire is reflected in a stream at Penela, Coimbra, central Portugal, on June 18, 2017. (Patricia de Melo Moreira/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)
Two women cover their mouths and noses during a wildfire that threatens the village of Torgal, Castanheira de Pera, on June 18, 2017. (Patricia de Melo Moreira/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)