Marco Ferreira, from the GNR, reported that the A22 has already been reopened to traffic in municipalities hit by fire, after it began to be closed as early as Monday.
Ferreira suggests that those on holiday in the east of the Algarve "keep an eye" on the media and social networks, to be up-to-date in relation to road traffic, namely on the A22 and Estrada Nacional 125.
At the same press conference, which took place shortly after 11:00 am, the commander of relief operations, Richard Marques, said that today's objective is to subdue the fire but stressed that perimeter "is not contained".
Despite some decrease in the maximum temperature forecast for today, he said that the weather situation “is challenging”, with some “hot spots”, namely, to the north, the National Forest of Conceição (Mata de Santa Rita), where the flames destroyed the leisure and picnic area.
Another hot spot is "further north, but facing west"-"due to proximity to some populations", this area requires "some consolidation at very specific and perfectly identified points", he said.
Richard Marques revealed some concern regarding today's weather scenario, as it “will be similar” to Monday's, but a change in wind direction is expected that will “coincide with the critical period of the day”.
The rural fire, which has spread to the municipalities of Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, has already affected an area of around 9,000 hectares, after registering an “expansion rate of 650 hectares per hour”, reaching a perimeter of 43 kilometres.
The alert for the rural fire was given at 01:05 on Monday and the fire was considered to be dominated by 10:20, but the "severe weather picture", with high temperatures and wind, was at the origin of a " very strong reactivation, in the middle of the critical period of the day, close to the head/right flank of the original fire, and this was quickly out of extinguishing capacity”, explained Richard Marques.
By 1:30 pm, there were 631 firefighting operations, supported by 208 land vehicles and 10 air assets.