Portugal wildfire ravages over 16,000 acres of land

STORY: The wildfire, currently being tackled by over 800 firefighters, started on Saturday (August 5) in the municipality of Odemira, in the Alentejo region, but has since spread south towards the Algarve, one of Portugal's top tourist destinations.

High temperatures and strong winds are complicating efforts to combat the flames, which have destroyed over 16,000 acres of land. Shortly before sunset on Monday (August 7) , the sky in Odemira turned dark as a huge smoke cloud filled the air.

Southern European countries such as Portugal have been grappling with record-breaking temperatures during the peak summer tourist season, prompting authorities to warn of health risks. Scientists say heat waves are becoming more frequent, intense and spread out across seasons due to climate change. Authorities have declared more than 120 municipalities across Portugal at maximum risk of wildfires.