Portimão and Monchique set up emergency funds to help wildfire victims

Portimão and Monchique are setting up emergency funds to help those whose livelihoods have been affected by last Saturday’s wildfire, which destroyed around 2,000 hectares of land in the two boroughs, and not leave them solely dependent on the “bureaucracy of State support”.

Portimão Mayor Isilda Gomes is urging those who have been affected to come forth and report their damages.

“We cannot let people feel discouraged and lose their will to work – that cannot happen,” Gomes told SIC on Monday.

The councils of Portimão and Monchique as well as representatives from the regional agriculture and fisheries board (DRAP Algarve) met with several people affected by the fire at the Algarve International Racetrack on Monday.

The meeting gave victims of the fire an opportunity to inform authorities of their losses and learn about the support that they will be entitled to.

The blaze is believed to have started accidentally at Sítio do Tojeiro where a community of several foreigners live in caravans and motorhomes.

PJ police are investigating and believe that the fire was accidentally caused by a fault in an “improvised electrical connection.”

The fire broke out at around 1.30pm on Saturday and quickly spread to Portimão. It was brought under control at 7.15am the following morning and was considered officially ‘put out’ later that day. A “reactivation” of the fire was detected at around 5pm on Monday afternoon but was quickly dealt with.