In this new monthly column, afpop, Portugal’s largest foreign residents’ association, aims to answer some of the most frequently-asked questions by members.
Question: I have garden waste to burn, when is it possible to do bonfires again and how can I check the weekend weather situation?
afpop answers: The critical period for fires, which is determined by the Secretary of State for Forests, usually runs from July 1 to September 30 in 2020, so in any case at the moment burning of waste or any fires outdoors, launching rockets or hot air balloons (when fire induced) is forbidden until the end of this month.
But the prohibition may be extended by the authorities due to abnormally dry conditions and prolonged higher temperatures.
At the moment it is not yet known if there will be an extension this year as there was in 2019, so it is advisable to contact your local Bombeiros station or the local Civil Protection agency (CPA) if you intend to have any kind of fire outdoors in the early part of October. Remember for any bonfire, you need to inform your local Bombeiros/CPA in advance and also inform them when the fire has been put out.
You can always check the fire risks and expected weather conditions on the IPMA website, on the link http://www.ipma.pt/pt/ambiente/risco.incendio. You select your district and county to obtain the most accurate information. On that site you can also check temperature, wind, relative humidity, chance of rain and you can also consult the CRITICAL PERIOD Restrictions associated with the Forest Fire Hazard Classification. The website is also available in English by selecting the language at the top of the home page.
Please also bear in mind that fires are also started accidentally by people using power tools, strimmers etc, who inadvertently cause sparks, either by catching stones or from fuel spillages. It is forbidden during this high risk time to use such equipment.
For more information about the Benefits of Membership of afpop, the largest Association for Foreign Residents in Portugal, you can visit their website www.afpop.com; e-mail them direct on firstname.lastname@example.org or call the afpop office on 282 458 509 (t/m 938 252 100). Please remember to quote THE ALGARVE RESIDENT when contacting them.