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Published: Thursday August 12, 2010 MYT 8:02:00 PM

Wildfires spread in Portugal's national parks

LISBON, Portugal (AP): Authorities in Portugal are deploying firefighting aircraft and army bulldozers to halt wildfires sweeping through two of the country's national parks.

Almost 300 firefighters and five aircraft are tackling two blazes in the Serra da Estrela hills in central Portugal.

Meanwhile, heavy earth-moving equipment is cutting firebreaks in the northern Peneda-Geres protected nature reserve to help extinguish two wildfires there.

The Civil Protection Service said on its website on Thursday it is fighting 20 wildfires across the country after weeks of hot, dry weather.

Wildfires are common in Portugual during the summer. Almost 10,000 fighters and 56 aircraft are on standby.

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