Algarve fire damage this year “unquestionably positive”

The first 10 months of 2015 have been dubbed “unquestionably positive” for the Algarve in terms of forest fires.

According to national civil protection authority ANPC, fewer forest areas were damaged (-44%) compared to last year even though there were more fires (552 as opposed to 436).

ANPC statistics show that the forest areas damaged by fires were “15 times smaller” than the 2004-2013 average.

District commander Vítor Vaz Pinto called the results “extraordinary”, particularly as “it rained very little and was very hot” last summer.

“These unquestionably positive results are due to the selflessness and sacrifice of all those who defend our forests from fires,” he said, presenting the results in Faro.

He warned, however, that things can change very quickly.

“The Algarve is prone to fires that spread unrelentingly. All it takes is one big fire to question our statistics and years of hard work.”

ANPC data showed the most devastating Algarve fire took place in Tojeiro, Monchique, where 203 hectares of land was burned (click here).

Large fires in Mexilhoeira Grande, Portimão (88.4h) and São Marcos da Serra, Silves (60.1h) followed.

Sulinformação website said the ANPC blamed most of the 552 fires on “negligent behaviour”, while 8% were cases of arson.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com