The Algarve Resident has this week launched a GoFundMe campaign in aid of the Liga dos Bombeiros Portugueses (Portuguese Firefighters League). Entitled ‘Portugal’s Fire Heroes Appeal’, the goal is to ensure the wellbeing of our firefighters as they prepare for another fire season.
We are asking our readers to join in and help the country’s firefighters who heroically risk their lives to protect others and this summer will face new challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Our goal is to reach the target of €20,000. Any donation, no matter how large or small, will be crucial to the safety and wellbeing of firefighters in what promises to be a particularly challenging fire season.
Portugal is blighted nearly every summer by major wildfires, which not only destroy huge stretches of land but also claim human lives.
The memories of 2017’s devastating wildfires in Central Portugal, which resulted in the death of over 100 people, and 2018’s Monchique wildfire, which raged for one week nonstop, are still all too fresh in the minds of many.
This summer, however, firefighters are facing new risks due to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to recent reports, efforts to reduce large numbers of people in any one space and promote physical distancing will have an impact on the capacity and efficiency of combat teams, whether voluntary firefighters/Civil Protection command posts, or even the pilots of firefighting planes.
Climate change and the fact that vast tracts of national territory are still very susceptible to wildfires are other matters that are concerning specialists.
Parliament’s Technical Independent Observatory says that regional plans for forestry control (PROFs) still need to be followed: large areas of inflammable eucalyptus and pine are meant to be being ‘reforested’ with more fire-retardant trees, like oaks. But with all authorities focused on preventing the spread of the virus, these commitments are being allowed to fall behind.
In other words, it is more important than ever to make sure that our firefighters are adequately prepared to face this fire season.
These are men and women who put their lives on the line almost every time they are called to tackle a fire. Making a contribution, however small, is a great way of giving something back and showing your appreciation for their work.
Our fundraiser can be found online at:
To make a donation, all you need to do is include your first and last names, your email, your country of residence and zip code and your credit card information.
To learn more about the Liga dos Bombeiros Portugueses, visit www.lbp.pt (in Portuguese only)