The data shows that the Republican National Guard (GNR) detained 61 people for the crime of forest fire until September 24 of this year, nine fewer than in the same period in 2022.

Throughout 2022, 72 people were detained by this security force.

According to the GNR, the districts with the highest number of people arrested for this type of crime were Leiria, with 17, and Porto and Vila Real, with 10 each.

The GNR also identified 908 citizens considered suspects by September 24, 96 fewer than in the same period in 2022, the year in which a total of 1,103 people were identified due to forest fires.

The GNR explains that the deadline for owners to carry out land cleaning work ended on April 30th, and until that date, they are obliged to manage combustible material and clean land along a strip with a width of no less than 50 metres around homes or facilities located in rural or forest areas.

The GNR also indicates that, since February 1st, it has been carrying out the “Safe Forest 2023” operation through awareness-raising, inspection, surveillance and detection of rural fires, investigation of the causes of fire crimes and validation of burned areas to prevent, detect, combat rural fires and suppress illicit activities.

According to the ICNF, a total of 7,097 rural fires broke out between January 1st and September 15th, which resulted in 33,003 hectares of burned area, including settlements (18,904), forests (11,967) and agriculture (2,132).

The data also shows that 2023 is the second year with the fewest fires and the third with the lowest amount of burned area in the last decade.