The first death this year in Portugal occurred on 11 July, during the fight against a fire in the Lousã mountain range in the district of Coimbra, with the death of 55-year-old José Augusto, the team leader of the volunteer firemen of Miranda do Corvo. Three other firemen were injured in the incident.

On 18 July, a fireman from the Voluntários de Leiria, 34-years-old, died in the hospital of the city after having gone into cardio respiratory arrest when he was participating in the aftermath operations of a fire in the parish of Arrabal, in the municipality of Leiria.

The third fireman to die in the rural fires of this year was 21 year old Diogo Dias, from the corporation of Proença-a-Nova, who died on 25 July, after a car crash in Perna do Galego, in the municipality of Sertã, district of Castelo Branco, on his way to a fire in Oleiros.

On 30 July, fireman Carlos Carvalho, 40, from Cuba, in the district of Beja, who was seriously injured in the fire that broke out on 13 July in Castro Verde, died in the Hospital de Santa Maria, in Lisbon.

The most recent death of the fireman on 8 September while fighting a fire in Oliveira de Frades, in the district of Viseu, brings the number to five firemen who have lost their lives this year fighting rural fires in Portugal.

The mayor of Oliveira de Frades, Paulo Ferreira, spoke of the “irreparable loss” the death of fireman Pedro Ferreira and said that he had been connected to the local corporation since he was a little boy.

On 7 September, the Oliveira de Frades Chamber decreed three days of municipal mourning following the death of Pedro Daniel Ferreira, 38, deputy chief of the Permanent Intervention Team and firefighter at the Humanitarian Association of Voluntary Firefighters of Oliveira de Frades.

“Nothing we can say, no tribute we can pay, will bring Pedro back”, he said, guaranteeing that the council will give all the necessary support to his family (wife and young son).

The mayor admitted that the fact that the fireman died while on duty “greatly increases the emotional burden” of the death.

Not included in the figures of the firemen who have died this year is also the death of the Portuguese pilot Jorge Jardim, 65 years old, a pilot of a Portuguese Canadair plane that crashed, on 8 August during firefighting operations in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, in Lindoso, Viana do Castelo district.

In the context of the fight against rural fires, “whenever there are deaths of members, as with all large-scale fires, a technical enquiry is made by the surrounding authority and all partner entities”, assured the Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita.

Consistent states of alert have been put in place throughout the summer months by the Secretary of State for Internal Administration, Patrícia Gaspar, due to weather conditions that increase the chance of rural fires.

Gaspar said that “the risk of fire is expected to increase,” whenever there are weather forecasts that predict “an increase in temperature, a reduction in relative humidity levels and an increase in wind”.

“Zero tolerance to the use of fire,” is part of the state of alert said Gaspar, adding that the alert situation brings a series of prohibitions and restrictions, such as movement and permanence in forest spaces and “burning anything is totally forbidden, as are fireworks, works in rural areas and forest spaces, especially with machinery”.

The alert situation also implies the reinforcement of the readiness of the means and agents that participate in the prevention and combat of rural fires and “the activation of the coordination structures, both at the national level and in the districts where this declaration applies,” indicated the minister, ensuring that “all the mechanisms are in place to respond to possible situations”.