Ten districts on special orange alert in the next 72 hours

in News · 07-07-2020 12:38:00 · 1 Comments

The National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC) has decreed that 10 districts of Portugal, mostly in the interior, are under the special orange alert state over the next 72 hours due to the very high or maximum risk of rural fire.

The information was released on 6 July at a press conference at the headquarters of ANEPC (Oeiras), by the national operational commander, Duarte Costa, who said that the conditions favourable to the eventual occurrence of the spread of rural fires were met, based on the meteorological forecasts of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) for the next few days.

Commander Duarte Costa said that the conditions planned for the next 72 hours are dry and hot, with relative humidity in the air below 20 percent, moderate to strong wind, especially in the highlands, maximum temperatures above 36 degrees in the eastern Algarve and in the northern interior and the possibility of dry thunderstorm in the northern and central interior.

"ANEPC, through its national command, decreed the transition to the state of special orange alert for the following districts: Beja, Bragança, Castelo Branco, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Portalegre, Santarém, Vila Real and Viseu", said Commander Duarte Costa, adding that the special yellow alert status is maintained for the rest of the country.

Commander Duarte Costa said that ANEPC decided to pre-position two expanded attack groups, one at the Vila Real logistical support base and the other in São Marcos da Serra, Silves, and a fire brigade in Barranco do Velho, Faro district.

“It was also requested to maintain the commitment of the surveillance device and to maintain the state of readiness of the operational device, all associated with expanded attack missions. As for the aerial device, it is in its total, permanent availability and maximum strength, and we will also increase strategic monitoring actions that are considered convenient,” he said.

ANEPC also asked the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) "the location of track machines ready for operational use in the districts of Braga, Vila Real, Aveiro, Viseu, Leiria, Castelo Branco, Portalegre, Santarém and Faro" and to the Armed Forces the passage to yellow level of the Hefesto Plan, of support to the Civil Protection in the actions of combat and prevention of rural fires.

Commander Duarte Costa also called for the “adaptation of the behaviour of all people, in an attitude of responsible citizenship in the face of the danger of rural fire”, recalling the prohibition of burning and the use of fire in critical areas and forests as long as the critical firefighting period is in place, until 30 September.

He also asked people to avoid moving to fire zones "just to see the occurrence".

"A sudden change in wind can have unpredictable consequences on the presence of people in the vicinity of the fires, however small they may seem, but which can quickly evolve into more destructive scenarios," he said.

On the day it became known that the Government released a budget of around four million Euros to pay the humanitarian associations of firefighters included in the Special Device for Fighting Rural Fires, the national commander refused to comment, confirming only the payments in the amount “considered necessary to pay to all humanitarian associations”.

Asked if guarantees can be given that payment constraints will not be repeated in the coming months, he said that he can only give "operational guarantees" as ANEPC's national operational commander and that other issues should be referred "to the competent entities".


Comments:

Well published report and the fire chief seems to be in full control. Parabens!

By Simon Phillips from Algarve on 08-07-2020 12:37
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