"Firefighters have been up all night and are still at the location this morning to make sure that that the fire doesn't re-start," said a source from the District Relief Operations Command (CDOS) of Faro. The reactivation, that took place yesterday, in the early afternoon, was from a fire that broke out on Wednesday in the parish of S. Clemente, 118 men mobilized at 19:30, supported by 32 vehicles and five air vehicles, according to the website of the National Civil Protection Authority.
According to the same source from the Faro CDOS, fighting the flames continued to be hampered by the fact that they were ploughing uneven terrain and they lacked access which did not allow firefighters to approach the front fire. On Wednesday, the fire, which broke out in the early afternoon, led 53 people to leave their homes, as a precaution, who were then able to return at around 10:30pm.
However, according to the authorities, "yesterday there was no record of people being evacuated from their homes", neither voluntarily nor by indication of the Civil Protection forces. By 9:45 pm, according to the Faro CDOS, 99 firefighters were supported by 34 vehicles at the site. Additionally, yesterday afternoon, another fire started in the municipality of Loulé, in Besteiros, which was extinguished at 6:08pm.
Today, more than thirty municipalities in the districts of Bragança, Guarda, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Portalegre and Faro present a maximum risk of fire, according to the Portuguese Institute of The Sea and atmosphere (IPMA).
According to the information published on the IPMA website, in the district of Bragança, the municipalities of Vimioso, Bragança, Miranda do Douro, Mogadouro, Freixo de Espada-à-Cinta, Mirandela, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Bragança and Alfândega da Fé, and in the Guarda district, the municipality of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo are all under this alert. Similarly, the municipalities of Fundão, Proença-a-Nova, Vila Velha de Rodão and Vila de Rei, in the district of Castelo Branco, and Portalegre, Nisa, Castelo de Vide, Marvão and Gavião, in the district of Portalegre, are also at maximum risk of fire, today. Santarém also has several municipalities under this IPMA alert, namely Ferreira do Zêzere, Vila de Rei, Tomar, Mação, Abrantes, Constância, Sardoal, Vila Nova da Barquinha, as well as the district of Faro which includes: Lagos, Silves, Monchique, Portimão, Tavira, Loulé and São Brás de Alportel. The IPMA also put several dozen municipalities in the Interior North and Center and the Alentejo and Algarve region at very high or high risk of fire.
This fire risk determined by IPMA has five levels, ranging from reduced to maximum. Calculations are obtained from air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and amount of precipitation in the last 24 hours. The critical period of fires last until the end of September and until then, it is forbidden to make extensive fires or burn heaps of rubbish without authorization, or use stoves or grills throughout the rural area, and smoke or make any kind of fire in forest spaces. It is also forbidden to launch lighted mecha balloons or rockets or do work of any kind in the forest that may cause sparks.
For today, the IPMA predicts cloudy or cloudy skies, temporarily very cloudy until late in the morning, with light rain on the North and Central coast, with wind blowing at times strong in the highlands and coastal strip of the Southern region. The maximum temperatures will vary between the 21 degrees in Braga and the 31 degrees in Faro.