After fires kill 40 Portugal, Spain, firefighters get a little relief from the rain

A firefighter works to put out a forest fire near the village of Fato, central Portugal, June 18, 2017. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

Thomson Reuters

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Rain and lower temperatures are helping emergency teams in Portugal and Spain fight the forest fires that killed at least 40 people over the weekend.

Civil Protection authorities say wildfires in Portugal were under control by Tuesday morning, after at least 36 people died and dozens were injured. Portugal, which still has seven people missing in the blazes, began three days of national mourning on Tuesday.

In northwest Spain, where four people have died in the fires, regional authorities in Galicia say 27 forest fires are still out of control Tuesday, seven of them close to inhabited areas.

Investigations are still underway to find the cause for the late-season wave of hundreds of forest fires, which officials in both countries are blaming mostly on arsonists.

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