On June 17, Ferro Rodrigues, President of the Republic’s Assembly (Portuguese Parliament), paid homage to ‘all who succumbed’ to the fires.

The ceremonial remarks inaugurate the first national day dedicated to the memories of forest fire victims, as decreed by parliament.

The 17th was chosen for being ‘the anniversary of one of the deadliest and most devastating fires ever recorded’ said Rodrigues. The date is set to remember those who lost their lives to forest fires, but also those who put themselves at risk combating them.

In 2017 more than one hundred people perished at the hands of forest fires in Portugal, with the deadliest event being the Pedrógão Grande catastrophe on June 17. During that incident alone sixty six people died, over two hundred and fifty were injured and around five hundred houses were destroyed.