The mayor of Monchique, Rui André, presented the proposal to create an emergency fund after the Government announced that the damages could already be reported to the Algarve’s Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries (DRAP), considering that this support would be “very bureaucratic” and “unadjusted” to the needs of those affected, as happened after the large fire of 2018.

“Following the fire that broke out on 17 July in Monchique and spread to the neighbouring municipality of Portimão, there was a total burned area of 2,134 hectares. In Monchique, 656 hectares [ha] were burned, mostly wooded areas (271 ha), but also an area of eucalyptus production forest (163ha), cork oak (130ha) and stone pine (25ha)”, quantified the municipality in a statement.

The teams from the municipality “already carried out a first assessment of the damage” and found that 33 hectares affected were “for pastures” and about 30 hectares were occupied with “agricultural land and orchards”.

After meeting on Monday with injured parties, in the presence of officials from DRAP Algarve, the Municipality of Monchique considered that this new aid process would be “similar to the fires of 2018”, with “very bureaucratic and an inadequate support” to the real needs” of those affected.

“That is why the Municipal Council of Monchique decided on 20 July to create a simplified mechanism to support these victims in the municipality of Monchique so that they can quickly recover from the damage caused by this fire”.

Monchique City Council stated that the “emergency fund” aims to “assist small farmers in a quick and non-bureaucratic way whose losses do not exceed €500 and are intended for the rehabilitation of irrigation systems, replacement or repair of machinery/engines, pipes and fences for animals”.

“Upon the presentation of the damages and after being validated by the municipality, the necessary material will be made available immediately in the Agricultural Cooperative or in other commercial spaces in the municipality, which may be collected by the injured parties, who have a maximum period of 30 days for its application”, clarified the municipality of the district of Faro.

The use of support granted by the municipality through this mechanism does not prevent, however, the injured parties from submitting “future applications” to cover “other losses of greater value”.