Further reinforcements have been brought in to tackle the enormous fire which has now been engulfing the municipality of Tavira for three days.
The fire in Tavira is now so large that it is the biggest ever firefighting operation to take place in Portugal with 955 firefighters now battling to contain the flames in the Tavira and in the São Brás de Alportel area according to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.
A member of the Civil Protection organisation told Lusa that firefighting efforts were currently being concentrated in the Cabeça do Velho area in São Brás de Alportel while fires are still being fought in the Tavira area also.
As night began to fall tonight (Friday, July 20) the flames of the fire were moving further into the municipality of São Brás de Alportel with mayor José António Eusebio fearing that the fire may be now “truly unstoppable”.
Investigations into the cause of the fire which has led to the largest ever fire fighting operation with 955 Bombeiros, more than 230 vehicles and 10 aircraft involved, are now being explored by members of the PJ police.
Local residents in the rural areas affected have been evacuated for their own safety however no properties have yet been burnt.
Other residents in the local area are without electricity due to power lines being destroyed and EDP are now working to restore power but their efforts are being hampered by limited access to areas.
Anyone in the Tavira area wishing to help the operation are asked to make donations of bottled drinks and packaged food to help feed the nearly 1,000 fire fighters taking part in the operation.
To keep up to date with the latest news on the fire please click here for the official operational report which is constantly updated.
A video report of the fire can be seen here