The City Council of São Brás de Alportel is acting on several fronts to prevent forest fires. Reinforcement of surveillance, preventive forestry, cleaning of curbs and creation of fuel management lanes are some of the measures that are already underway.
In the mountainous area of the county, the construction of 220 hectares of fuel management lanes of the primary network is in progress, an investment of 108 euros, plus VAT, supported by community funds under the PDR 2020 plan.
«Simultaneously, preventive forestry work is being carried out in fuel management strips, around the villages of Outeiro (Alportel) and Bico Alto, strategic areas, in the prevention of fires due to their location», according to the City Council of São Brás de Alportel, which advances that these works cost 16 thousand euros.
The cleaning of sidewalks on municipal roads and roads «is another important front of this work that has been underway since May. 80 kilometers have already been covered in the municipality, in an investment by the municipality that exceeds 20 thousand euros».
Forestry work and the creation of fuel management lanes in the mountainous area are also underway, under an existing agreement with the Association of Forestry Producers of Serra do Caldeirão.
These works are focusing on the Boar site “with the aim of protecting homes and the population in case of forest fire”.
«In addition to these contracts, through direct administration, the municipality has been cleaning and maintaining the edges of the housing centers located in the municipality's Barrocal since May. Works that also include the cutting and cleaning of trees that jeopardize the normal circulation of traffic on municipal roads and paths», added the municipality.
The Team of Sapadores Florestais «ensures another important work front», which is carried out throughout the year, «cleaning, maintaining and clearing brushwood in forest areas with a view to reducing the fuel load, even in new areas of intervention for which it has been necessary to coordinate with the guidelines of the Municipal Civil Protection, of the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) and in close articulation with the Team of Sapadores Florestais of the Association of Producers of Serra do Caldeirão».
«This team has also been participating in various awareness-raising actions among the population with the aim of alerting people to risky behavior in the forest area and the need to clean up some areas. During the critical summer period, this team also takes care of the area of mobile and fixed surveillance, carrying out first intervention work, as well as aftermath and surveillance after forest fires, if necessary. Surveillance will be alternated with cleaning and fuel management work at critical points identified by the municipality and residents», explained the Chamber.
Strengthening surveillance and combat means «are other key fronts of this strategy, set in motion using an increasingly broad set of partners, including the Fire Brigade, the District Command for Civil Protection, the Army, the GNR, GIPS and other entities».
The mayor of São Brás de Alportel points out that, despite the municipality's 2019 Forest Fire Prevention Strategy already underway, "we need the involvement of the entire community in this mission that belongs to all".
Vítor Guerreiro drew attention to «the importance of cleaning around homes in rural areas», leaving «a thanks and praise to the citizens who have been involved in this joint effort to protect the natural heritage of the municipality and its population».
Photos: Chamber of São Brás de Alportel