More Than 20 Die in Portuguese Forest Fire

A massive forest fire in central Portugal has killed 25 people, many of them burned to death in their cars. At least 16 people are reported to have been injured.

Officials say hundreds of firefighters have been dispatched to battle the blaze in Pedrogao Grande area, about 150 kilometers northeast of Lisbon. Spanish rescue workers also are assisting in efforts to douse the flames, authorities say.

“Unfortunately this seems to be the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires,” said Prime Minister Antonio Costa. The number of fatalities could rise, he added.

Jorge Gomes, secretary of State for the Interior, said the flames moved “with great violence.”