A luxurious Portuguese resort where the stars of former England John Terry and Steven Gerrard’s own homes were evacuated today as a bushfire threatened the homes of millionaires.
Around 70 people were asked to leave their properties by midday as flames and thick smoke threatened luxury villas in an area called Pinheiros Altos, which is part of the famous Quinta do Lago resort.
Early this afternoon, evacuations were extended to the entire east wing of the resort, and several roads in the area were closed.
This came after Portugal declared a state of alarm on Monday due to forest fires sweeping the countryand the current risk is considered the worst in decades.
The blaze in Quinta do Lago was just 500 meters from the £8.5m Algarve mansion believed to be owned by Roman Abramovich, which was the subject of a Portuguese government investigation in May.
Portuguese Foreign Minister Joao Gomez Cravinho has confirmed the government has “frozen” a six-bed villa in an exclusive residential complex after receiving a bank warning of an attempt to sell it two weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The fire started late last night near the Algarve University and the area where the four-day international motorcycle festival is due to start.
Almost 250 firefighters are currently fighting the fire on the ground and from the air.
People freed from their homes, including both residents and vacationers, were initially taken to a shopping center in the resort of Quinta do Lago, away from the area where firefighters are concentrated.
Emergency responders said the evacuation was partly due to the proximity of the fire, but mainly due to the smoke.
Almost 3,000 firefighters are currently battling 50 fires in mainland Portugal.
Earlier this week, climatologist Carlos da Camara said the risk of wildfires was the highest it had been in 42 years.
A June 2017 forest fire near the central Portuguese city of Pedrogao Grande killed 64 people and injured more than 250.
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Steven Gerrard and John Terry’s homes at risk after wildfires break out nearby