Canadair plane crashes in Portugal, no information yet about casualties

"Portugal weeps for Pedrogao Grande", said the I newspaper while mainstream Publico's headline simply read "Why?"

Portuguese media have dubbed the N-236 the "road of death".

Meanwhile, outbreaks were reported in two more central regions, Castelo Branco and Coimbra.

A firefighting airplane drops its load of water trying to prevent a forest fire from reaching the village of Ouzenda, outside Pedrogao Grande, central Portugal, Tuesday, June 20 2017.

On Sunday afternoon, almost 900 firefighters and 300 vehicles were still battling the blaze as scenes of devastation could be seen around the town.

Spain and other nations have offered help and sent firefighting equipment to the stricken area.

The fires have claimed the lives of at least 64 people and since Saturday.

"The United Nations stands ready to assist in any way possible".

"Our pain is enormous", said Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

"It was fortunate we were not there because I would have tried to save our possessions and then the worst could have happened", he said.

The scene of the fire was "like a horror movie" Ms Silva said, with winds so strong the roofs of the house were blown off.

Emergency services were unable to co-ordinate the fight against Portugal's deadliest forest fire in the hours after it started because a radio system created to help tackle such disasters relied on mobile phone antennae that had been destroyed by the flames.

"It was really hell. I never thought it would come to this side", she said.

"We couldn't see anything, we couldn't even see the road, just the flames and the pine trees falling on the road".

However, some resources were being diverted to Gois, about 12 miles away.

According to Jorge Gomez, the secretary of state for internal administration, at least half of the victims died in their vehicles as the raging fire engulfed the roads.

Other bodies were found in houses in isolated areas. France's foreign ministry said a French citizen was among those killed.

Portugal is observing three days of national mourning after 62 people were killed in a wildfire Saturday night around the town of Pedrogao Grande, which is by far the deadliest on record.

Boxes of donated food and drinks were outside the makeshift refuge, the air still reeking of smoke.

Armindo Antonio, 67, was evacuated with his family on Sunday evening by civil protection workers who came to his village. He says "the family got out and they were kissing the vehicle".

  • Leroy Wright