FIREFIGHTERS in Portugal are battling to contain wildfires which are sweeping southward towards the Algarve.
Thousands of residents have had to evacuate from their homes and at least nine firefighters have been injured tackling the fires.
Where are the fires in Portugal?
The wildfires began on August 5, in Odemira, in the Alentejo region and have destroyed thousands of hectares of land.
The fires have now spread south towards the Algarve, one of Portugal's top tourist destinations.
The blaze has prompted the evacuation of more than 1,400 people which includes tourists staying at four resorts as well as 19 small villages.
Authorities have also blocked off several roads in the area.
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Efforts by hundreds of firefighters to control the flames are being hampered by the strong winds and high temperatures which have reached 40C.
Odemira's mayor, Helder Guerreiro, described the situation as "critical, difficult and complex" while Civil Protection commander Jose Ribeiro said there was a "lot of work" ahead to bring the wildfire under control.
Meanwhile, authorities have put 120 areas across Portugal on maximum alert for wildfires.
On August 7, the Portuguese weather agency IPMA put six districts in the country, including the capital, Lisbon, on red alert for extreme heat until midnight.
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"The weather conditions we are going to experience in the coming days means any small occurrence (fire) could become a big one," Civil Protection Secretary of State Patricia Gaspar told a news conference.
Scientists say that heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change.
The Foreign Office issued updated travel alerts for Brits who plan on travelling to the likes of Spain, Greece and Italy this summer.
Brits due to travel to an area affected by wildfires are urged to get in touch with their travel operator or accommodation provider before they travel.
It's also advised to check if their travel insurance covers them if they plan a holiday somewhere where it's known there have been wildfires.
Read the NHS advice on coping in hot weather.
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