The order that determines the support mechanism for the purchase and sale of animal feed in the areas affected by the fires that occurred between August 16 and 19, was signed by the Minister of Agriculture, aims to support producers who do not have the means to feed their animals, says the ministry in a statement.

“In addition to material losses, a large percentage of agricultural land destined for animal grazing, as well as places for keeping animal food, such as haystacks, were consumed by fire, causing animals to go without food”, he justifies.

The mechanism “intends to support producers who do not have the means to feed their animals, through the purchase and direct delivery of emergency animal feed, namely coarse feed (hay), complete maintenance feed for animals and carbohydrates (sugar and molasses) for feeding bee colonies”, the note reads.

According to the Government, cattle, sheep and goats and beekeeping farms affected by rural fires in the parishes of the municipalities of Castro Marim, Monchique, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António (Faro) and Odemira (Beja) are eligible to benefit from this support mechanism.

"The Office of Political Planning and General Administration, as an organisation that provides technical and administrative support to the Ministry of Agriculture, will coordinate the process, being also responsible for the financial costs arising from the purchase of emergency food, up to a maximum global allocation of 30,000 euros" , the note continues.

The order also determines that the regional directorates of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Algarve and Alentejo will be the entities responsible for the distribution of feed for the animals.

The General Directorate of Food and Veterinary, through its deconcentrated services, “will provide support in the distribution of food, identifying the needs of livestock producers and beekeepers”.

The first major fire of August in the south of the country broke out at dawn on the 16th, in Castro Marim, in the district of Faro, and, despite having been considered to have been subdued at 10:20 that day, it ended up reactivating around 16 :00, spreading to the municipalities of Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, having been dominated again a day later, in the afternoon of August 17th.

According to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service of the European Union (EU), the fire caused a total of 5,957 hectares of burned area (2,774 hectares of agricultural areas) in the municipalities of Castro Marim, Vila Real de Santo António and Tavira.

On August 18, a new fire broke out in the area of Sabóia, municipality of Odemira, district of Beja, which caused four injuries, one of which was serious.

The fire, which was dominated the following day, touched the limits of the Algarve municipality of Monchique.

According to preliminary data from the Civil Protection, the fire affected an estimated area of 1,100 hectares, within a perimeter of 20 kilometers.