"We found the tree hit by the lightning", he said.
Close to 100 forest fires continued to rage across Portugal Sunday night, with over 2,000 firefighters working to bring them under control.
Silva's comments echo those of Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who told reporters at the scene the fires have caused "a human tragedy beyond any in our memory".
"Some people stayed. Now we're waiting to see". However, there are favorable signs in other areas of central Portugal also hit by wildfires, authorities said.
A man is attended by a Red Cross worker outside a relief center for people affected by a forest fire in Figueiro dos Vinhos, Portugal on June 19, 2017.
The country was in mourning after the deadliest such disaster in Portugal's recent history, with many victims burnt as they were trapped in their cars. "I never thought it would come to this side", she said.
As the flames licked at her, burning her leg, she and her elderly neighbors survived by jumping into a water storage tank. The only firm in the area has burnt to the ground.
Starling told The Associated Press on Monday that he had to speed around trees that had fallen on the road and had to go off the road.
Eventually the fire passed and we emerged to see the smouldering remains of the village.
"This is a region that has had fires because of its forests, but we can not remember a tragedy of these proportions", Valdemar Alves, the mayor of Pedrógão Grande, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press agency.
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State broadcaster RTP showed terrifying images of several people on a road trying to escape the intense smoke that reduced visibility to a few metres.
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.
Ideally, he said, there should be firebreaks such as cleared woodland or farmland that help to stop a blaze in its tracks.
At least half the victims died in their cars as they tried to flee along a local motorway while many other bodies were found next to the road, suggesting they had probably abandoned their vehicles in panic, according to the news agency.
Gomes said eight firefighters were among the injured - four in serious condition. Portugal's political parties for the most part heeded a call by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to first deal with the emergency before discussing its circumstances.
"I am shocked and horrified by the many lives claimed by today's devastating fires", said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who comes from Portugal.
Mariano Rajoy has tweeted that he is "overwhelmed by the tragedy at Pedrogao Grande".
Portuguese officials say giant clouds of smoke are preventing the deployment of water-dropping aircraft on wildfires in the central region of the country where 62 people have died in the runaway flames.
Speaking in the Vatican, Pope Francis, who visited Portugal last month, mentioned the victims in his weekly address.
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