Photo: BRUNO FILIPE PIRES/OPEN MEDIA

Government decides not to prolong wildfire state of alert

Weather conditions due to improve

Portugal’s government has decided not to extend the Situation of Alert in the country which had been called on Sunday due to a high risk of forest fires. The alert situation will cease to be in force from midnight on Wednesday, the minister of the interior has announced.

The minister said forecasts point to a “significant improvement from Wednesday in meteorological conditions.

“We understood that it was possible to ease the restrictions associated with the danger of rural fires and decided, therefore, not to extend the alert situation beyond midnight tomorrow,” said the minister José Luís Carneiro at a press conference on Monday evening.

The minister was speaking at the headquarters of the National Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC), where he justified the decision with a return as of Wednesday to a “regular summer framework, despite the known framework of severe drought and extreme drought”.

Even so, he stressed that “the situation still requires special care”, so ANEPC (the national civil protection authority) will maintain 16 districts under orange alert on Tuesday and five districts on Wednesday.

According to the minister, the orange alert will focus “particularly in the northern and central districts” of the country.

José Luís Carneiro also said that 300 daily patrols of the National Republican Guard (GNR) will remain in “patrolling and monitoring functions”, who will be responsible for coordinating with “another 300 patrols that include various external entities” such as municipalities, he said.

“In other words, reinforced dissuasive patrols will be maintained,” the minister said.

ANEPC, he added, will place land and air resources depending on the risk in the area and “will maintain, as is normal, its daily assessment so that, depending on the needs and changes in weather forecasts it can adapt and adjust the response to the needs that are diagnosed and that result from the conditions on the ground”.

Source: Lusa