Portimão invests more than half a million in preventing and fighting fires

Actions range from the creation of fuel management lanes to the strengthening of the means of the teams that are on the front line

File Image – Photo: Hugo Rodrigues|Sul Informação

Portimão is already preparing for the critical period of fires, having approved the operational plan for rural fires for 2020. In all, more than half a million euros will be invested to carry out prevention and training actions for the device municipal fire fighting.

As usual, the plan is based, from the outset, on land clearing, in order to «reduce the accumulation of biomass, through a management that offers greater resilience to rural fires».

According to the Portimão City Council, 'the execution/maintenance of the primary and secondary fuel management lanes, in particular those associated with the forest road network, water points and municipal land in rural areas, as well as the recovery of forest paths'.

On the other hand, “the awareness program will be maintained, in a modality adjusted to the safety requirements of the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on door-to-door actions and monitoring of fires”. These actions have the support of foreign associations (AFPOP and Alliance Française) in the relationship with resident communities, as well as hunter associations and ASPAFLOBAL on behalf of forest producers, «strengthening the framework of cooperation with local radio stations (Alvor FM and Rádio Portimão)».

Another component that has been highly valued by the Civil Protection of Portimão are the “Aldeia Segura” and “Pessoas Seguras” programs, which the municipality classifies as “motors of prevention and self-protection dynamics for the populations most exposed to this risk”.

In this way, “a close relationship will continue to be privileged, through local security officials, with the support of Parish Councils, with relevant information being disseminated daily to all rural residents through SMS”.

Portimão was the first municipality in the country to implement these programs in all rural population agglomerations, as early as 2018.

The Chamber of Portimão also announced the continuation of its commitment to the capabilities of recognition and assessment of the situation, through its Brigade for Aftermath Operations, a «pioneer in the country» unit, specialized «in actions to consolidate extinction, eliminating the risk of re-ignitions'.

This year, the Chamber reinforced the technological resources and decision support platforms for this aspect of the consolidation of the aftermath, which is also affected by a crawler machine.


Photos: Hugo Rodrigues|Sul Informação


Firefighters, on the other hand, «continue to assume a preponderant role as the main force of permanent commitment, ensuring in the most dangerous phase three teams dedicated, over 24 hours, to fighting rural fires (12 firefighters), one of which pre- positioned in the seasonal detachment of Senhora do Verde, being able, however, in reaction to the State of Special Alert (EAE), to reinforce this provision, as has been usual in exceptional situations».

It is also necessary to count on the Municipality's security forces and the team of forest sappers, who «participate in all phases, from structural prevention, with preventive forestry actions, passing through operational prevention, in surveillance actions whenever the risk of fire and/or the alert state so requires, as well as in support of combat and in the important aftermath process».

The Chamber of Portimão also pointed out that there are, in total, three crawler machines assigned to the municipal provision, one from the municipality and the other two from private providers contracted for the purpose, both of which can be mobilized with a high degree of readiness, enabling a early specialized reinforcement'.

"The plan also streamlines a set of 18 operational anticipation measures, which automatically come into force whenever the alert level is high, from increasing the readiness of the forces and services that contribute to this mission, to increasing the capacity for monitoring and monitoring at the headquarters of the Municipal Emergency and Civil Protection Center, with a special focus on the pre-positioning of means and resources, bringing the response capacity closer to the most dangerous areas in order to reduce the time of arrival at the site», added the autarchy.

It was also reformulated, «based on the process of lessons learned, the strategic parking places of surveillance means, within the scope of operational prevention coordinated by the GNR, increasing the effectiveness for early detection, while improving the conditions in the three designated locations. the pre-positioning of means of combat (in Senhora do Verde, in Porto de Lagos and in the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve)».


Photos: Hugo Rodrigues|Sul Informação


In 2019, the strategy adopted by the Municipality of Portimão allowed the burnt area in the county to have remained at 5,2 hectares, «1,9 corresponding to scrubland, 3,34 corresponding to agricultural areas».

In all, there were '28 fires (13 hot flashes and 15 agricultural fires) that took place in the county were put out in the initial phase, representing 100% effectiveness, with the response device ensuring compliance with all the operational objectives outlined, namely with the dispatch to ensure the average time of departure of the first half in 90 seconds (when the goal sets up to 3 minutes), the average time of arrival of the first half at the location of the alert in 10 minutes and 9 seconds (when the goal is to reach 20 minutes after the alert) and the average time to resolve occurrences in 32 minutes, the objective of this national goal being to control fires with the initial means of attack, that is, up to 90 minutes».

Meanwhile, recalled the Chamber, land owners have until May 31 “to ensure the cleaning of 50 meters around their dwellings and 100 meters around population centers, postponing the usual actions until after that date. of replacement of the situations of non-compliance verified by the inspection teams'.




Photos: Sul Informação and Portimão Chamber