Elderly couple found dead in burned-out car as Portugal wildfires rage

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LISBON (Reuters) - The charred bodies of an elderly couple were found inside a burned-out vehicle after they tried to escape a wildfire ripping across the Portuguese northern municipality of Murça, authorities said on Monday.

Murça's mayor, Mário Artur Lopes, told SIC broadcaster the bodies were discovered around 4.30 p.m. after the couple were involved in a car accident as they tried to get away from the wildfire.

"We found the car completely charred... the couple died inside the car," Lopes said. "It is a completely dramatic situation that is happening in the municipality of Murça... more than half of the municipality on fire."

"Resources are insufficient," he added.

Citing the mayor, Lusa news agency said the couple were aged over 80.

The couple's death comes after a Portuguese pilot died on Friday when his waterbomber aircraft crashed as it fought a wildfire in the northern municipality of Torre de Moncorvo.

Murça's wildfire is one of nine blazes sweeping across drought-hit Portugal, which has been battling a heatwave since last week. Firefighters are also combatting blazes in other southern European nations, including in neighbouring Spain.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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