A plane flown by an English pilot that was tackling the forest fires in Portugal has crashed. The pilot has died, according to CM Jornal.

The Canadair plane came down in Pedrogao Grande – the scene of recent forest fires that have taken scores of lives.

It is believed to have hit the ground between Ouzenda and Louriceira, where the fires have been at their most intense.

At least 64 people have died after fires broke out in the Pedrógão Grande region in the centre of the country.

The fire started on Saturday (17 June) after a lightning strike hit during an intense heatwave, where temperatures have soared to almost 40C.

Thousands of firefighters have been working around the clock to contain and extinguish the blaze, which has trapped people in their homes and cars.

Roughly 70% of the fire is under control, but the remaining areas are still every dangerous.

Many people perished in their cars as they tried to escape the area.

The government has declared a state of emergency in the forested region around Pedrógão Grande, north-east of the capital Lisbon.

The village of Nodeirinho was one of the worst hit, with 30 bodies found in cars along one road. Some 12 people people survived after they hid inside a water tank.

The nation is currently observing three days of mourning for the victims.

sweden forest fire
A Canadair CL-415 SuperScooper waterbomber, similar to that which crashed in Portugal, is photographed in Sweden Reuters