AMAL wants the Algarve to have a Special Regional Fire Force

Combating forest fires and seismic and tsunami risks will be the subject of applications from the Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve to European funds

A regional fire brigade in the Algarve, similar to the Special Fire Brigade that already exists at national level, but also video surveillance towers for early detection of rural and forest fires, the updating of the tsunami risk model and the creation of a system in the ocean that warns of this type of catastrophe, are some of the projects with which AMAL – Comunidade Intermunicipal do Algarve wants to move forward, taking advantage of European Union funds until 2030.

According to António Pina, president of AMAL, the Algarve municipalities want to take advantage of «the next community support framework, called 2030» to ensure a region «more resilient with regard to the two main risks that threaten our region».

“One, which is recurrent, is forest fires. Another, which also worries us, because one day the earth may shake, are earthquakes and tsunamis», he summarized, on the sidelines of the signing of the memorandum of understanding to create the Regional Platform for the Reduction of Risk of Disasters, which took place this Thursday , day 19, in Faro.

In the field of combating forest fires, the Chambers have two projects in the pipeline, which should advance in the next period of European funding.

«We left the challenge for the creation of a permanent regional corps of forest firefighters, at the service of the civil protection authority, which the municipalities are also willing to help finance, if they are called upon to do so», illustrated António Pina.

«This will allow us to respond without situations like the one that almost happened last year, when there was a big active fire [in Gambelas and Quinta do Lago] and another one broke out [in Monchique]. Fortunately, this second fire did not reach the proportions of the one that was already underway, because we would be unable to have the number of operatives and sufficient means to attack two large fires simultaneously», he exemplified.

The idea is to create «a new force», which the mayor from Olhão compares to the Special Force of Firefighters, to «add to what we already have».

Another intention is to move towards «the use of video surveillance technologies, including night surveillance, because, as we know, the best way to fight forest fires is to discover them at a very early stage, when they are still easy to put out».

«Covering the whole rural area and the Algarve mountains, which are many kilometers, sometimes with little accessibility, is only possible using these technologies. This is a challenge for which municipalities are willing to share with ANEPC the investment needed to install watchtowers with video surveillance», he assured.

As for the project linked to earthquakes, «we want to see the tsunami risk models updated, as this will help us to prepare civil protection, but also to move forward with an alert system in the ocean and a way to communicate to the entire population , residents and visitors», concluded António Pina.





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