Speaking to Lusa, the mayor of Silves, Rosa Palma, said that this is “the first public equipment of this specificity to operate in the Algarve”, which will allow it to act “more immediately on roads and in areas close to urban areas”.
The machine, which can be remotely manoeuvred, will allow it to operate in areas that are difficult to access without compromising the safety of its operators, facilitating the work of fire prevention workers.
The teams of fire prevention workers will have specific training to manoeuvre the equipment, which represents an investment of €75,000.
The municipality intends to increase its capacity to intervene in the creation of areas for the defence of settlements and roads, ensuring its implementation in the main risk areas: São Marcos da Serra, São Bartolomeu de Messines and Silves.
Since 2014, the municipality has had a more active response in deforestation, access creation and cleaning of the fuel lanes, having even established an agreement with the Portuguese Army for this purpose.
However, according to Rosa Palma, while “there is no guarantee of 100 percent protection,” as happened in the great fire of 2018, there is a “calmer conscience in anticipating and preventing what is possible.”
The mayor of Silves recalled that in recent years, it was not until 2019 that the county “was not devastated by a fire”.
In August last year, the fire that started in Monchique - the largest in Europe in 2018 - also spread to the municipality of Silves, forcing dozens of people out of their homes as a precaution.