Two Britons have been caught up in the Portuguese forest fires, receiving minor burns in the tragedy that has claimed 61 lives.

A lightning strike is believed to have sparked the initial blaze in the Pedrogao Grande area after investigators found a tree that was hit during a dry thunderstorm.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are in contact with the local authorities regarding the forest fires in central Portugal. We have provided support to a number of British people caught up in the incident and stand ready to support any others who may be affected.”

The two Britons who were injured in the fires also received treatment for smoke inhalation and have been discharged from hospital.

Three days of mourning have been declared in Portugal.

Interior Ministry official Jorge Gomes said 59 people died from the flames and suffocating smoke, while another two people died in a traffic accident related to the fires.