Algarve prepared to fight complex rural fires after 36-hour exercise

Exercise took place on the 13th and 14th

The usual final exercise, which ends the demanding program of preparing the Special Combating Rural Fires (DECIR) in the Algarve takes place this year on the 13th and 14th of May with a fictional scenario of a large rural fire in the municipalities of Silves and Loulé. 

According to Civil Protection, the exercise took place in a place “with great potential for the development” of fires and involved more than 400 participants from 56 entities involved in the different dimensions of the Regional Operations Plan, a subsidiary of National Operational Directive no. establishes DECIR, testing, for the first time and with this scope, the entire response line, uninterruptedly, over 02 hours.

The main objective of the “DECIRALG ́24” exercise was to “exercise operational articulation between the levels of action (Municipal and Regional), with emphasis on the interaction between municipal areas and the Algarve Regional Emergency and Civil Protection Command, in an incident of magnitude supramunicipal”.

The first 12 hours were spent in the Communications Exercise (COMMEX) modality, to test procedures and the flow of information and communications that result from the elevation of the State of Special Alert (EAE) and at 00:00 on May 14th it transitioned to the Command Post Exercise (CPX) and Full Scale Exercise (LIVEX), whose Operational Command Post operated at the Alte Professional School, under the responsibility of the Algarve regional Operational Command Post Team (EPCO), formatted to manage complex operations, already in context of the changes recently made to the Operations Management System (SGO).



In addition to the practical dynamics, which brought means and resources closer to the challenges of a scenario of this nature, emergency situations were simulated in the Theater of Operations, including multi-victim accidents, technical limitations in vehicles and the particularity of combat and protection in the urban/urban interface. rural area, having carried out, in conjunction with the Municipal Civil Protection Service (SMPC) of Loulé, evacuation exercises in the parish of Alte, within the scope of the “Safe Village” and “Safe People” Programs reflected in the Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 157- A/2017, of October 27th.

At the same time, the Concentration and Reserve Zone (ZCR) areas were implemented to support logistical operations and a Concentration and Population Support Zone (ZCAP) in S. Marcos da Serra, in the municipality of Silves, with the capacity to accommodate more than a hundred displaced people and their companion animals.

Nine Reconnaissance and Situation Assessment Teams (ERAS) at regional and municipal level, ensured a constant flow of information between the field and decision centers, contributing to an operational but assertive decision process and a public information dynamic was fed managed by communications technicians from the Municipalities;

At the Post Exercise Discussion (PXD), held late Tuesday afternoon in the auditorium of the Escola Profissional de Alte, Vitor Aleixo, president of the Chamber of Loulé, Rosa Palma, president of Silves, Vítor Vaz Pinto and Abel Gomes, were present. commander and 2nd Regional commander of the Algarve, and Richard Marques, Sub-Regional commander of the Algarve.

According to Civil Protection, in this final phase «it was possible to assess the consolidated aspects, validate procedures and identify opportunities for improvement, with the contribution of all participating entities, namely: All Fire Departments and SMPC in the Region, AFOCELCA, Association of Hunters, National Maritime Authority, Portuguese Red Cross, Armed Forces, National Republican Guard, Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation, National Institute of Medical Emergency, Parish Councils, Judiciary Police, Social Security, Municipal Veterinarians, among other cooperating entities integrated into local civil protection structures”.