Waterbomber pilot dies fighting Portugal wildfire

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Wildfires in Portugal

LISBON (Reuters) - A pilot died on Friday when his waterbomber aircraft crashed as it fought a wildfire raging in the northern Portuguese municipality of Torre de Moncorvo, authorities said.

Civil Protection Authority commander Andre Fernandes said there was only a pilot on board the Fire Boss aircraft and emergency services, including vehicles and a helicopter, rushed to the scene of the crash at around 8 p.m.

Joao Sousa, mayor of the town of Foz Coa, where the crash took place, told Lusa news agency the pilot was pronounced dead at the scene.

The wildfire in Torre de Moncorvo, an area known for its mountains and river, is one of nine blazes sweeping across drought-hit Portugal, which has been battling a heat wave since the beginning of the week.

"It was with great dismay that I learned about the death of the pilot who operated an aircraft that crashed...I send my deepest condolences to family and friends," Prime Minister Antonio Costa wrote on Twitter.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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