EDP named as a defendant in Monchique fire case

in News · 21-02-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

EDP Distribuição has been named as a defendant in the case relating to the 2018 fires in Monchique however, the company states that they believe that the fire did not originate from an electrical source.

In a statement sent to Lusa news agency, the company said that based on the available evidence, EDP Distribuição is convinced that the source of the fire was not in the electricity grid, taking into account that the ignition point, identified by the National [Emergency and] Civil Protection Authority, has “no line of electricity in its vicinity“.
The devastating fire in Monchique began on 3 August, 2018 in the Perna Negra area, in the Serra de Monchique (Faro district), and was the largest recorded in 2018 both in Portugal and Europe, only having been dominated by firefighters on the eighth day, on the morning of 10 August.
As a result of the fire, more than 27,000 hectares of forest and agricultural land was burned and in total, the fire destroyed 74 houses, 30 of which were primary residences.
“The company remains available to provide all the information requested, in order to assist the competent entities in reconstructing the relevant facts and in investigating the causes that led to this fire”, EDP added.
The fire also caused significant damage in the neighbouring municipality of Silves, after having also affected, with less impact, the municipalities of Portimão, in the district of Faro, and Odemira, in the district of Beja.

At the time the fire was fought by more than 1,000 operatives, with the help of helicopters and additional air support from Spain. The fire forced the evacuation of at least three hotel units and caused 41 injuries, 22 of which were to firefighters, the majority due to smoke inhalation.
“The company, within the scope of its legal obligations, will continue its daily work of management of vegetation in the electric grid, collaborating with society and the authorities in the prevention of fires, whose frequency is propitiated by climate changes”, said EDP Distribuição.
A further defendant has also been identified by the authorities, although the identity of this defendant is still unknown.
The Mayor of Monchique, Rui André, told Lusa that there are electrical lines in the area in question, with problems related to the high, medium and low voltage lines which are “often the focus of ignitions”, arguing that the areas where lines are needed to be “properly cleaned, so that in the future these situations are avoided”.
According to Rui André, Monchique Câmara will be constituted as an assistant if the judicial process for the Monchique fire advances further and that if this is the case that the council intends to “be compensated” for the losses incurred due to the fires.
According to the mayor, a year and a half later, there are still losses that have still not been covered by programmes that the Government created to give support to those affected by the fire.
“In terms of signage and affected infrastructure alone, we have accounted for around €700,000, which has not yet been able to be covered,” said the mayor who highlighted the fact that the effects of the fire were still being felt in the municipality.
According to the Mayor of Monchique, “many people were unable to fit into government or community programmes” made available to deal with the damage caused by the fire.
For this reason, if the judicial case proceeds, the municipality will become an assistant and seek, in addition to “being compensated for the losses it had, also to be a voice that represents the citizens” affected by the fire.


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