Death of local politician stuns small parish

Queirã, a small parish in the northern municipality of Vouzela, is mourning the death of its president, who died on Tuesday after suffering major burns to 60% of his body while aiding fire-fighting efforts in the municipality on August 23.

Joaquim da Silva Mendes, 62, was receiving hospital care at S. João in Porto but succumbed to his serious injuries on Tuesday.

On the day of the fire, he was the first to arrive at the scene of a blaze in the area, alongside a member of the Vouzela forest sappers.

Their attempts to put out the fire, however, were not successful and ended up costing the brave politician his life.

Recent data from the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) shows that the total area burnt by fires in the country was 121,168 hectares up until September 15, representing a 15% increase compared to the previous year.

On the other hand, there were fewer fires this year. An 11.4% drop was registered due to the decrease of 2,184 fires compared to 2012. Nevertheless 16,924 were lit across the country.