Reuters International

An aircraft drops water over a forest fire near Lagoaca, Portugal September 8, 2016. REUTERS/Miguel Vidal

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LISBON (Reuters) - Firefighters battled blazes across Portugal on Thursday, calling in air reinforcements to help tackle the spreading flames.

Eleven wildfires raged across the country, according to the civil protection service, with nine aircraft and over 400 firefighters struggling to put out the largest in Monchique in the southern Algarve region.

Another major fire was blazing in the northern part of the country in Guarda, with four aircraft combating the flames.

So far this year, wildfires in the Iberian country have destroyed a wooded area the size of over 130,000 soccer fields, about twice the annual average in 2008-15.

(Reporting By Reuters Television and Andrei Khalip)

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