SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE: 8pm Mayor Rui André has just posted one word on his Facebook page: “Dominated!”
7.15 am – With over 450 firefighters now involved the blaze is being reported as ‘in resolution’. This means it is not expected to spread beyond the perimetre currently affected, while reignitions and outbreaks are being contained. Air support may return shortly in order to help with today’s efforts. A recent post by Monchique mayor Rui André described “2,000 hectares already consumed”: 500 in Monchique, 1,500 in the municipality of Portimão.
232 firefighters, 71 appliances, 9 air support are currently battling the first of this season’s wildfires to have started in the Barlavento area of the Algarve.
The fire began shortly after 1.30 in Tojeiro, Marmelete (Monchique) but has now spread south to the borough of Portimão.
Various villages, like Pereira, are being engulfed by smoke.
An old people’s home in Pereira is being ‘evacuated’ as the wind has started to pick up pace.
Smoke can be seen from all directions.
Updates are being posted on the Facebook firewatch group: “Associação Alerta de incendio Florestal /Forest fire Alert”.
UPDATE: At 6pm the fire was still being battled, now by more than 300 firefighters, some brought in from as far away as Lisbon.
There are ‘two fronts’ causing problems: homeowners are being evacuated for precaution; various farm buildings have been destroyed; nine air support are working.
There are still ‘several hours of combat’ to go before this fire will be out.
Monchique mayor Rui André has been on SIC television news talking about the situation, saying it is “very worrying” as flames are close to various homes.
People evacuated in order to ensure their safety are being given shelter at the Portimão Arena.
Monchique has a history of devastating fires, the last terrible summer season having been in 2018 (click here).