New fire engine “completely destroyed” by Monchique wildfire

A fire engine equipped to battle forest fires and only purchased last year was completely destroyed on Monday in a blaze that broke out at Portela do Vale.

No-one was hurt but the incident leaves Portimão firefighters down to just two fire engines as the region approaches the wildfire ‘danger season’ known as Phase Charlie.

Thanks to unusually high temperatures, winds and a winter without much rain, many areas are already tinderbox dry.

Monday’s fire – in a rural/ residential area above Marmelete – began mid-afternoon, and was finally brought under control around 8pm.

It was fought by 138 firefighters from various stations with the support of 48 vehicles and one helicopter.

This was the first major fire ‘fright’ of 2017 in a borough that last year saw almost 4,000 hectares of land devastated in fires that last for days.