Extreme Wildfires Update

700 firefighters in Portugal battle wildfire west of Lisbon

Blog note: And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11). Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. This verse from Luke is one of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.

700 firefighters in Portugal battle wildfire west of Lisbon

HELENA ALVES and JOSEPH WILSON. Associated Press. October 7, 2018

SINTRA-CASCAIS, Portugal (AP) — Over 700 firefighters battled a wildfire Sunday in a national park west of Lisbon that forced Portuguese authorities to evacuate about 350 people.

The fire that broke out overnight in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park that covers hilly terrain near the Atlantic coast injured 17 firefighters and one civilian, Andre Fernandes of Portugal’s civil protection agency said Sunday.

Fernandes added that 300 people were evacuated from a campsite while another 47 were removed from their homes in the wooded area as a precaution.

Firefighters on the ground were being supported by 225 vehicles and six aerial fire-fighting units as they tried to put out the blaze. Planes swooped low to dump water on plumes of smoke rising from densely wooded hills 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the capital.

Fernandes said firefighters were combating the fire on two fronts, and their efforts were being helped by a decrease in the winds that had previously fanned the flames.

“The first hours of the fire were very, very difficult,” Fernandes said.

Resident Francisco Reymao told The Associated Press that “it was very windy, so the fire front came all the way down with an astonishing speed.”

“The firefighters could only watch during the night because it was impossible to control the fire,” Reymao added. “Our luck was the start of the day when the aircraft were able to stop this … it would have been a tragedy here in Charneca.”

Wildfires routinely blacken large areas of forest every year in Portugal. Last year they also killed 106 people in what was by far the country’s deadliest fire season on record.

That was a wake-up call for authorities, who had been slow to react to demographic changes and a climate that was getting hotter and drier. This year the Portuguese government enacted a raft of preventive measures to reduce fire deaths, like employing goats to munch flammable undergrowth along key roads.

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