Hundreds battle wildfires raging in central Portugal

Plane drops water on forest fire near Vouzela, 23 Aug 13
Image caption A water-bombing plane went into action near Vouzela on Friday

More than 800 firefighters in Portugal are tackling big wildfires in Serra do Caramulo, a hilly central region.

France and Spain have sent several water-bombing planes to help the Portuguese effort.

One firefighter was killed and nine were injured on Thursday near the town of Tondela.

The biggest fire is near Covilha, east of Tondela, Portugal's Jornal de Noticias website reports. Several suspected arsonists have been arrested.

Firefighters spent the whole night battling another blaze, near the town of Vouzela.

Portugal's Minister of Internal Administration, Miguel Macedo, pointed out the difficulty of fighting fires in thickly wooded hills.

"Firefighters die because the conditions in which they are fighting the fires in these kinds of terrain are extraordinarily difficult," he said.

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