Portugal under extreme risk of wildfires as country braces third heatwave of summer

Every mobile phone in Portugal has been sent a text warning of the extreme risk of wildfires as the country braces for its third heatwave of the summer.

The country has entered a state of alert, with temperatures expected to reach 38C and strong winds predicted in the coming days.

The messages warned those in rural areas not to start any form of fires.

The government has also restricted access to forests and banned the use of machinery to avoid sparks.

The state of alert came into force at midnight on Sunday and will last until Tuesday.

Some 92,000 hectares of land have already burned this year, according to government estimates, with heatwaves and drought producing tinder-like conditions.

In the Serra da Estrela area alone, fires in recent weeks have destroyed more than 28,000 hectares more than 25% of its total area.

On Saturday, fires in Ourém and Leiria, to the north of the capital Lisbon, were brought under control after they caused thousands of pounds of damage and disrupted trains for more than six hours on Friday.