More than 2,000 firefighters have been battling multiple wildfires in central and northern parts of Portugal amid a heatwave.

The Portuguese government decided on Saturday to declare a state of contingency between July 11 and 15.

More than 700 soldiers were dispatched to the area yesterday after the fires destroyed an estimated 1,500 hectares of vegetation, the Civil Protection agency said.

The blazes come amid an intense heatwave in Portugal, with temperatures reaching over 40 degrees Celsius this week and expected to rise in the coming days.

Scientists say extreme weather events such as heatwaves and droughts are linked to the climate crisis.