Fires: Algarve faces the summer with two new teams and «comfort» when it comes to aerial resources

Algarve's Special Rural Fire Fighting Device (DECIR) will be similar to last year's

Photo: Nelson Inácio | Sul Informação

The creation of two new teams, one for Permanent Intervention and the other for Forestry Sappers, the continuity of measures that come from the past and have “revealed to be fruitful”, a comfortable situation in terms of air resources and the increase in the amount paid to firefighters who help fight fires, are some of the highlights of the regional Special Device for Combating Rural Fires (DECIR), which was presented on Wednesday, the 20th, at the headquarters of the Regional Emergency and Civil Protection Command (CREPC) of the Algarve, in Loulé.

Despite the creation of the two new teams, DECIR in the Algarve «has no major changes compared to last year», since the device, in the Algarve region, «is currently consensualized and maximized», he revealed to Sul Informação Vítor Vaz Pinto, regional commander of CREPC.

«Even if we wanted to, we wouldn't be able to increase more, because we don't have enough human resources. We were unable to increase much more without removing other operational activity, which continues to be necessary during the summer, in the Algarve«, explained the same person in charge.

In the case of Permanent Intervention Teams (EIP), which, as the name suggests, are operational all year round, the Algarve will now have a total of 36 (180 operational and 36 vehicles, in total). The new Forestry Sappers Team (ESF) will be operational in the municipality of Silves and brings the total existing in the Algarve to 16.

According to commander Vaz Pinto, at the Bravo level, the one with the greatest alert and mobilization, which begins on July 1st and extends until September 30th, the device will have a total of 988 operational personnel and 237 vehicles.

«In terms of air resources, we are very comfortable. We have full coverage of the initial and expanded attack», revealed the same person in charge.

Regarding rapid intervention, «we will have four light helicopters, stationed in Cachopo (Tavira), Loulé, Monchique and Ourique, which despite being in Alentejo, has a range of action that allows it to fight fires in the Algarve as well».

In terms of the expanded attack, «we will have the helicopter stationed in São Brás de Alportel, which has a range of 70 kilometers, as well as the two bomber planes at Portimão Aerodrome, which have a range of 120 kilometers».

Of the global device, 542 operational personnel and 125 vehicles will be allocated to combat and initial attack. In this mission, Firefighters will be involved (EIP, Forest Fire Fighting Teams (ECIN), Logistics Combat Support Teams (ELAC) and Fire Fighting Group), but also the GNR (Emergency, Protection and Relief Unit). and Extended Attack Company) and the Land Combat Team of the forest protection company AFOCELCA.

From the general device, at the level of firefighters and different types of teams, from the front line to rear support – commanders and logistical support staff, 477 operational personnel and 118 vehicles will be assigned to the device.

To these is added the mobilizable fire department, made up of 138 operational personnel and 24 vehicles, divided between ECIN and ELAC.

Also assigned to DECIR 2024, in the most worrying phase, are a total of 113 operational personnel and 25 vehicles from the GNR, as well as resources from the PSP (43/6) and the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (26/9).


Vítor Vaz Pinto – Photo: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação


The commander of CREPC Algarve also highlighted the increase in compensation awarded to Firefighters who are part of DECIR, by ANEPC – National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (+ 3,10 euros) and by AMAL – Algarve Intermunicipal Community (+ 3 euros).

This means that firefighters now receive, in total, «93.30 euros for every 24 hours», of which 67,30 are guaranteed by ANEPC and 26 by AMAL, whose decision to fund an increase in the remuneration of operators who fight fires in the region «was a pioneer», at national level.

The «optimization of the logistics system in terms of management and control of operations support activities», the «reinforcement of security control mechanisms in Theaters of Operations through a team of Security Deputies prepared for complex operations», as well as the increase “of Public Information through the preparation and involvement of communication technicians from local authorities in the Operational Command Post”.

As for the measures that come from the past, we will once again focus on «the consolidation of Temporary Combat Asset Parking Bases in strategic locations, with high danger of rural fires, for pre-positioning and logistical support of immediate reinforcement units ».

The expanded attack actions will be anticipated, «through the pre-positioning of the two Fire Fighting Brigades (BCIN Barlavento and BCIN Sotavento) and the mobilization of two Fire Fighting Groups (GCIN) of the Algarve Firefighters and the Attack Company Extended (CATE) of the Emergency Protection and Relief Unit (UEPS) of the National Republican Guard (GNR)».

The CREPC also highlights the two Situation Recognition and Assessment Teams (ERAS) at regional level, operated by the Firefighters, at the order of the Regional Emergency and Civil Protection Command (CREPC), the 16 ERAS at Municipal level, one per municipality, coordinated by the respective Municipal Civil Protection Services (SMPC), and the Tracking Machine Engagement Tactical Team (ETEMR), operated by Firefighters qualified for this purpose, «which will be reinforced this year, ensuring efficiency in coordination and control »

The regional command also highlights the anticipation of surveillance and inspection actions «in areas historically most vulnerable to rural fires» and the «awareness raising and public information actions, materialized by the municipal level of civil protection» planned.


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