Drought could mean more fires

The severe drought and high daytime temperatures mean this summer could bring more forest fires than previously experienced. Manuel Ribeiro, president of the Serviço Nacional de Bombeiros e Protecção Civil (SNBPC), warned that preventative measures against forest fires will have to be in place by May 15. Ribeiro, speaking at the opening session of the Congress of Forest Fires in Castelo Branco, said a strategy was in place to anticipate the forest fire season and provide increased aerial cover.

Many speakers stressed that vigilance will have to be greater this year and The Resident takes this opportunity to remind its readers to be ever vigilant when there may be a chance of a fire starting.Call the bombeiros by dialing 112 if you see a fire even if you think someone else may have reported it.Don’t light bonfires and take care when barbecuing in an area where there is dry vegetation – keep a garden hose close to hand.