Published on Wednesday, August 8, 2018

FCO issues new warning to tourists as Algarve wildfires spread


Tourists to the Algarve are being warned that the effects of wildfires that started in a mountain range in the interior of the region last week are spreading towards the coast.

The Foreign Office updated its travel advice for Portugal again this morning to alert holidaymakers to the growing risk.

Just hours after Algarve tourism officials declared the popular tourist destination safe, the FCO said the fire had spread from its origins in Monchique to neighbouring municipalities.

Reports say the effects of the fires are spreading to coastal areas, where smoke can be seen. In the town of Silves, just 10 miles inland, residents told reporters it is 'raining ashes'.

The Foreign Office said: "Strong winds in the area make the spread of fire unpredictable. For your own safety, travel to the areas where the fires are burning is not advised.

"If you're already in the area, follow the instructions of the Portuguese police and Civil Protection authorities. If you need consular assistance, or you have concerns about family or friends in the area, please call (+351) 21 392 4000 or in the UK (+44) 207 008 1500."

Yesterday, Algarve tourism officials issued a statement insisting that no tourists are at risk from the fires.

"The fire situation is now more favourable, with the forecast of lowering temperatures and increasing humidity in the next few days," it said.

"As a precaution, and for the comfort of the local inhabitants, several roads have been closed, and several locations evacuated, including two hotels, whose guests were moved to alternative hotels along the coast."

Officials said the 'highest standards' of safety and protection of residents and tourists is being guaranteed.

"There is full confidence in the personnel mobilized to fight the fire, who have already dominated 95 percent of its perimeter," said the president of the Tourism Region of Algarve, Joao Fernandes.

In an update today, a spokeswoman for the tourist office in the UK said: "The smoke clouds can be seen from the coast because of the wind direction, but that's just it. Last night the temperatures decreased dramatically and humidity levels increased considerably which helped the work of the firefighters during the night.

"Besides the tourists evacuated from the two hotels during the weekend, there is no impact on the remaining tourists in any other area."

Holidaymakers are advised to follow the instructions of the Portuguese authorities, who can be contacted on 800 246 246, or (+351) 21 424 7247 (for those using overseas registered devices), or at

More than 1,150 firefighters are battling the blaze, which has injured 25 people.

Story Image

Your Comments

, be the first to post a comment.
Your email:

Email other comments made to this story

NOTE: Comments are subject to admin approval before being posted.
Mole Poll
'One in five Brits happy to pay travel agents an annual fee' - Do you receive an annual fee ?
YES 51.91 %
NO 48.09 %

Thank you for your vote

Move scroll bar (above) left to right for more videos!