With Portugal’s fire risks escalating now by the day, “many corporations” are reported to be considering a boycott of DECIF – the special firefighting unit responsible for tackling forest fires. Explain reports, the fire stations “still don’t know” what kind of financial incentives are on offer. One station chief requesting anonymity told Correio da Manhã: “Our men die earning €1.89 an hour. Authorities cannot go on playing with firefighters’ lives”.
CM stresses there are just six days to go before the “epoca dos fogos” (fire season), yet fire stations “still do not know the rules of the game” because the Public Ministry has so far failed to reveal its financial directive on the subject.
Said António Carvalho, the commander in charge of Lisbon’s federation of ‘bombeiros’: “We are apprehensive. There are corporations threatening to stay out” of DECIF, which would leave the country – already low on fulltime firefighters – even more vulnerable.