Fires: Almost a thousand parishes identified as priorities for forest cleaning

There are seven fewer than in 2023

Almost a thousand parishes were identified this year as priorities for forest cleaning, as part of measures to combat rural fires, according to an order published today in Diário da República.

The order states that there are 991 priority parishes for the purposes of monitoring fuel management this year, seven fewer than in 2023.

«For the purpose of selecting parishes, the criteria adopted since 2022 were maintained, which incorporate the components of cyclical danger of rural fire and the value of ecosystems. As a result, 991 parishes have now been identified (34% of the total number), covering 2.844.170 hectares of total area (32% of the surface of mainland Portugal) and encompassing 1.983.590 hectares of forest areas (37% of its total area) », states the diploma, which is published annually.

The order indicates that «the definition of these priorities does not exempt the managing agents of the territory from complying with all the provisions set out in the rural fire management legislation, and the scope of inspection by the competent entities is naturally not limited to the areas and deadlines mentioned».

According to the document, inspection of fuel management in the 991 priority parishes is carried out between May 01st and 31st on land adjacent to buildings in rural areas (within a range of 50 meters) and in population clusters.

For road, railway networks and electricity transport and distribution lines, it will be carried out between June 01st and 30th.

The order identifying priority parishes for the purposes of monitoring fuel management in 2024 is signed by the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Patrícia Gaspar, and the Secretary of State for Nature Conservation and Forests, João Catarino, and enters into force effective on Wednesday.