2020 registers second lowest number of fires in past decade

in News · 01-08-2020 08:00:00 · 0 Comments

The number of fires that have occurred this year and until 15 July is the second lowest in the last ten years and the burnt area has the fifth lowest value, according to provisional data.

The report by the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) indicates that between 1 January and 15 July, 3,383 fires broke out, 1,907 less (36 percent less) than the occurrences of fire recorded in the same period last year, when 5,290 had occurred.

According to the ICNF, the flames consumed 9482 hectares (ha) until 15 July, between populations (3396 ha), scrub (3123 ha) and agriculture (2963 ha), a reduction of about 6 percent (minus 702 ha) in relation to the same period in 2019.

"Comparing the values ??of the year 2020 with the history of the previous 10 years, it is noted that there are 54 percent less rural fires and 54 percent less burnt area compared to the annual average of the period", says the report, stressing that 2020 presents, until the 15 July, had "the second lowest value in number of fires and the fifth lowest value of burnt area since 2010".

The same document also indicates that 88 percent of the fires recorded this year had a burnt area of ??less than one hectare, with two larger fires having occurred to date, that is, with an area greater than or equal to 1,000 hectares, namely those that began in the municipalities of Aljezur (Faro) and Castro Verde (Beja).

Of the total of 3,383 rural fires verified until July 15, 53 percent were investigated and a cause was attributed to 69 percent.

ICNF provisional data up to 15 July also indicate that the largest number of fires occurred in the districts of Porto (796), Aveiro (266) and Viseu (242), but, in any case, they are mostly small in size and do not exceed one hectare of burnt area.

In turn, the district most affected by the burnt area is Faro, with 2826 hectares, about 30 percent of the total area burned to date, followed by Beja with 2622 hectares (28 percent of the total) and Viseu with 911 hectares (10 percent of total).

The INCF stresses that, to date, the month of July is the month with the highest number of rural fires, with a total of 1,324 fires, with July also having the largest burned area with 4915 hectares.

The report also states that the value of the actual burnt area (9482 ha) corresponds to 60 percent of the "weighted burnt area", which means that the burnt area in the year 2020 is lower than the "expected" burnt area taking into account the severity verified weather, that is, with high temperatures, strong wind, absence of precipitation and low relative humidity.


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