Portuguese blazes claim life of 7th firefighter

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Associated Press

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 5 at 9:03 AM

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A seventh firefighter in a month has died of injuries sustained while battling a spate of wildfires in Portugal.

Officials say a 50-year-old firefighter died in the hospital Thursday after suffering severe burns in a forest blaze last week. Officials have vowed to tighten firefighting safety procedures.

Weeks of temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) and high winds stretched emergency crews in August and prompted authorities to request eight water-dropping aircraft from other European countries.

Cooler and more humid conditions this week helped extinguish the fires.

Authorities have calculated that the area of forest scorched by wildfires up to the end of August was 25 percent higher than the same period last year, at 94,000 hectares (232,270 acres).

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