The fifth interim report on rural fires published this year by ICNF, for the period between January 1 and August 31, states that, to date, the most frequent causes in 2021 are negligent use of fire (51%) and arsonism - attributable (21%).
According to the report, in the case of negligent use of fire, the burning of lumber leftovers (22%), the burning of piles of agricultural leftovers (11%) and fires for pasture management for cattle (15%) are the reasons. most relevant.
The ICNF also reports that the re-ignition represents 5% of the total causes determined, in a lower value compared to the average of the previous 10 years, which is 16%.
The document points out that, to date, it has been allowed to attribute a cause to 69% of the fires investigated this year.
The latest ICNF report states that, between January 1 and August 31, 2021, a total of 6,672 rural fires resulted in 25,961 hectares of burned area.
"Comparing the figures for the year 2021 with the history of the previous 10 years, it is noted that there were 47% less rural fires and 68% less burned area compared to the annual average for the period", the document reads, stressing which 2021 presents, until August 31, “the lowest value in the number of fires and the second lowest value of burnt area, since 2011”.
According to the report, until August 31, 30 “major fires” had broken out, with a total burned area equal to or greater than 100 hectares, which resulted in 14,660 hectares of burned area, about 56% of the total.
The fire that started on August 16 in the municipality of Castro Marim, district of Faro, consumed the most burned area, totaling 6,679 hectares.
ICNF also indicates that the districts with the highest number of fires this year are Porto (1,106), Braga (612) and Lisbon (551), while the most affected district in terms of burnt area is Faro, with 9,186 hectares, about 35% of the total area burned to date, followed by Vila Real with 3,785 hectares (15% of the total) and Braga with 2,069 hectares (8% of the total).
In a list led by Santa Maria da Feira, Montalegre and Paredes, the municipalities with the highest number of fires are located almost all north of the Tagus, and are characterized by high population density, presence of large urban agglomerations or traditional use of fire in agroforestry management, these twenty municipalities represent 27% of the total number of occurrences and 17% of the total burned area.
The same document emphasizes that the burned area in the 20 most affected municipalities represents 66% of the total area, with the municipality of Montalegre standing out, associated with the highest number of occurrences in 2021, with the municipalities of Tavira, Vila Real de Santo António and Castro Marim, related to the highest occurrence in 2021.
The ICNF also emphasizes that August was the month with the highest number of rural fires, with a total of 1,714 fires, which corresponds to 26% of the total number registered this year. burned this year, with 10,235 hectares, representing 39% of the total.