Edition 1453
09 December 2017
Edition: 1453

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If private property owners fail to clear their land, councils will have to

in News · 30-11-2017 12:54:00 · 1 Comments

Private property owners have been given until 15 March 2018 to clear the land around their rural houses, in villages and along roads, otherwise local councils will be given until the end of May to do the job.

The State Secretary for Civil Protection, José Artur Neves, said during a meeting on the State Budget 2018 that there is “still a lot of work to be done” in terms of fire prevention, and that includes “equalising the importance of fire prevention and fighting” to “instil in the populations a feeling and a culture of security that there has not been until today.”
“To this end, we want private landowners to have all the surrounding areas in villages, isolated houses, business parks and even surrounding roads to clear their spaces of any vegetation that may be easily consumable by fire, like eucalyptus trees, pine trees, shrubs and acacias”, said the Secretary of State.
He added that a list is to be published of exactly what and where has to be cleared, with a view to protecting indigenous species “such as oaks or chestnut trees”.
This is an operation which the Secretary of State has admitted will “require extensive publicity” and “a permanent monitoring of the various parties involved.”
However, the governor also laid some of the responsibilities in this regard to local councils: “If some owners - due to ignorance or some laxity - do not [clear their land], local councils will step in to carry out this work so that, by the end of next May, we have villages with safe green spaces, safe roads, safe forests and safe pipeline channels”.
Also in relation to the fires, the PS submitted a proposal to amend next year’s budget to include a centralised allocation in the Ministry of Finance for expenses on compensation, support, prevention and firefighting, totalling 186 million euros, of which 62 million are for “compensation for deaths in forest fires” in this past June and October.
The Christian Democrats also want this proposal to include serious injuries as well.
On this matter, the PS said nothing and the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, José Arthur Neves, only said that “we know that in the very near future these situations will be solved.”
When the President of the Republic issued a parliamentary decree laying down measures to support the victims of the fires in June, he called for a “re-examination of the matter, in particular with regards to seriously injured people”.
After this, Prime Minister, António Costa, said that he intends to extend compensation to those seriously injured in the fires, echoing President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s stance.
“We already have a very rapid system of support for the victims and we want to extend this mechanism to the seriously injured; a commission that was set up [to assess the matter] will have a report complete within the next two weeks, in which it will put forward the criteria of compensation for the victims and the same for the wounded”, the prime minister said.

Comments

The goverment also must take responsibility for the landowners still planting eucalyptus trees. One of the main causes for spreading the fires. Patrols should be set up to safe guard this.
by Nina from Other on 03-12-2017 06:39:00

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Edition 1453
09 December 2017
Edition: 1453

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter