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Portugal Forest Fire Victims

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A large forest fire has killed more than 60 people in Portugal, according to multiple news sources.

Officials describe as the "greatest wildfire tragedy of recent years."

The government has declared three days of mourning.

At least 54 people were injured in the fire. Four firefighters are in critical condition, according to Paulo Santos, an operations and emergencies official with the National Relief Operations Command in Lisbon.

Residents in the town of Pedrogao Grande had to flee the area to avoid the fire.

Authorities said the number of victims may increase as fire officials inspect the villages affected.

More than 700 firefighters and other emergency responders are fighting the fire.

"We express our condolences to those that have lost loved ones," said Christos Stylianides of the European Commission. "The EU is fully ready to help. All will be done to assist the authorities and people of Portugal at this time of need."

Pope Francis prayed for the victims during his weekly prayer on Sunday.

"I express my closeness with the dear Portuguese people for the devastating fire that is affecting the forests around Pedrogao Grande, causing many deaths and injuries. We pray in silence," the Pope said.

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