Drones brought in to fight fire risk

in News · 15-05-2020 01:00:00 · 1 Comments

The Minister of the Environment has stated that there will be a strengthening of surveillance in the face of forest fires, with 7,000 elements on the ground and the acquisition of 12 more drones with a range of action of 100 kilometres.

João Pedro Matos Fernandes spoke to journalists at the end of the meeting of the Coordination Council of AGIF (Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires), which was chaired by the Prime Minister, António Costa, in the Ajuda Palace, in Lisbon.
“We decided to clearly reinforce surveillance to ensure that, as soon as a fire occurs, it will be combated in the shortest possible time. We will ensure that the approximately 7,000 elements on the ground, from various different bodies, will all work together in this task”, declared the Minister of Environment and Energy Transition.
João Pedro Fernandes also said that the surveillance actions will be reinforced with “six teams with two drones each, that is, 12 in total that will be acquired”.
“These 12 drones will have a flight capacity between six and eight hours, with a range of 100 kilometres from the point where it is commanded. In this first year, they will be a great tool for surveillance “, he said.
Also at the meeting it was declared that there is no indication of a reduction in human resources to fight fires as a result of the current covid pandemic.
The AGIF president, Tiago Oliveira, was asked about the consequences of the Covid-19 in the way the forces can act in fighting fires.
“More than ever, this year, it is important to reduce the number of fires on the most critical days. If there are fewer fires, then there will be less need to mobilise resources,” replied Tiago Oliveira.
In view of the current Covid-19 pandemic, Tiago Oliveira said that, at the operational level, “there will have to be adaptations” - adaptations that, however, should not harm the fight.
“Civil Protection has a set of concerns that have been transmitted to the fire brigades. On the part of AGIF, we have a set of recommendations that we are validating with the General Directorate of Health”, he said.
These recommendations will then be transmitted “across all” entities and, according to the AGIF president, “the rule of social distancing will apply, naturally guaranteeing that there will be no impact on the operation”.
“We are trying to understand how we are going to adjust. We are looking directly at the problem, with the main objective of reducing the number of fires,” added Tiago Oliveira.


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By Gordon Blakemore from Algarve on 16-05-2020 11:38
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