Problem of forest fires far from being solved

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 16-12-2019 13:57:00 · 0 Comments

The Independent Technical Observatory on fires set up by Portugal's parliament and which ends at the end of the year, announced it considered its existence necessary since the problem of forest fires is far from being solved.

"What was consensual in our self-assessment is that, regardless of the composition and people, the existence of a structure that has a strong technical and independence component is essential to the system," said the president of the observatory, which includes 10 specialists.

Francisco Castro Rego said that the existence of such an entity is necessary because the problem of forest fires is far from being solved.

The members of the Independent Technical Observatory for analysis, monitoring and evaluation of forest fires were questioned by the deputies of the Democratic Social Party (PSD), Left Bloc, Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and Socialist Party (PS) MPs on the willingness to continue their activity from 2020, considering it essential.

Francisco Castro Rego argued that there is still a long way to go in resolving the problem of fires, stressing that the last two years have been relatively calm due to weather conditions, although there have been significant advances in reducing the number of fires.

The expert said that if the observatory were to remain in place, internal communication with parliamentary committees would need to be improved.

Castro Rego said that there has not been enough use of the observatory for the development of the system.

Until the end of its term pof office, the Independent Technical Observatory will also carry out a report on the biggest fire this year, which broke out in the municipalities of Vila de Real and Mação, and a technical study on fuel management.

The president of the observatory also underlined that there are worrisome issues that remain unresolved, such as the training of the system's agents and the state's relationship with voluntary firefighters.

Francisco Castro Rego said that there has not been significant emphasis on contracting between the central state and the humanitarian firefighting associations and the entities that own the forest sappers.


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