Portuguese island of Madeira hit by wildfires

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes Credit: Reuters

Three people are reported to have died and hundreds of people have been moved from their homes as wildfires on the Portuguese island of Madeira menace the capital Funchal.

Two people have been seriously hurt, according to reports.

Several buildings have been destroyed and smoke from the fires has disrupted flights at the airport.

Images from Reuters showed clouds of black smoke and fires moving towards people's homes in Funchal.

Amid the blaze in Funchal, the Madeira newspaper Diario De Noticias reported that a man had been arrested, accused of starting a fire in the São Roque area which burned for several hours before it was extinguished.

Several buildings have been destroyed Credit: Reuters
Clouds of black smoke have disrupted flights Credit: Reuters

The fires have been burning for two days and have also affected the Portuguese mainland.

According to Portugal's National Authority for Civil Protection there were 13 major wildfires, most of them in the country's northwest, burning at midday on Wednesday.

Madeira has been experiencing high temperatures this summer.

Portugal has seen two days of wildfires Credit: Reuters