158 fires in Algarve since start of spring

SINCE THE beginning of spring this year, no less than 158 fires have burned in the Algarve, blazes that have affected around 800 hectares of land.

The statistics, which have been supplied by Vaz Pinto, the Comandante Distrital do Serviço Nacional de Bombeiros e de Protecção Civil (SNBPC), the district commander for the national fire-fighting and civil protection service, indicate that so far there have been many more fires than last year, although, in total, a much smaller area has been burned.

Despite taking a positive view on the news that less land has been burned, the district commander considers that any burnt area, no matter what size, is “always too great”. Vaz Pinto considers that the Algarve has never had as many means for fire-fighting as it does this year, but he does point out that man is mainly to blame for the outbreak of fires. “We have made plans, but the rest does not depend on us. It depends on meteorological conditions and, above all, the most worrying factor in all of this – man.”

New heliport in Tavira

The new Heliporto de Cachopo in Tavira came into service last week, where a helicopter will be based permanently, ready to serve the lower Guadiana area in fire situations and accidents. The heliport has been constructed by Tavira Câmara and has cost an amount of 25,000 euros.

Also in service as from Tuesday this week is a helicopter in Monchique that will provide assistance for the Barlavento area of the Algarve.

The helicopters of Monchique and Cachopo will remain in the Algarve until the end of September, while the only helicopter to provide a year-round service will be the one located in Loulé.