Officials Report Progress In Fighting Madeira Wildfire
Portuguese officials are reporting progress in the fight against the wildfires that swept through Madeira.
Portuguese Consul Pedro Carneiro told WBSM's Brian Thomas that, although firefighters are still fighting to put out the blaze, the situation has improved greatly.
"Things are much calmer today in Madeira, in the city of Funchal as well, firefighters are still fighting some smaller, localized fires but apparently the worst is over," said Carneiro.
The wildfires that swept through Madeira left four people dead and caused an estimated $65 million in damage.
Carneiro said that more than 200 buildings were destroyed as a result of the fires.
"Roughly 100 are completely destroyed and an additional 100 are partially destroyed," said Carneiro "also 1,000 people are temporarily displaced because of the fires."
Three people were arrested in connection with the wildfires, and although two of the suspects were apparently caught red-handed, Carneiro says authorities are still unsure as to what their motives were.
"We don't know exactly why," said Carneiro "if there are any mental disturbances, sometime there's some problems connected with this, or if there is any economic reason or criminal reason behind it, we don't know exactly."
Carneiro says transportation systems are operational along with the island phone lines and internet should people need to reach out to loved ones on the island.
The Consulate's Facebook page will be posting information for anyone who wishes to contribute to rebuilding efforts.