Reduced prevention but increased fire-fighting resources

Although the prevention of forest fires by the Nature and Forest Conservation Institute (ICNF) over the last five years has been decreasing, the reinforcement of the fighting methods, which cost €74 million this year, has increased.

The National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) is forcibly investing in the fire-fighting sector, mainly due to the huge fire that destroyed more than 21,000 acres of land in the eastern Algarve last year and that accounted for one-fifth of the 105,000 acres that were burnt across the country.

In order to avoid a repeat of last year’s disaster, nine reinforcement groups were created (Os Gruata), each one with 28 firemen and six vehicles, spread out through the north and centre regions of the country. Additionally, a series of C-295M planes from the Air Force have been added to the fire-fighting arsenal.

The planes are in possession of a sophisticated software programme which allows them to obtain information, in real time, about the fire’s development and, therefore, improve the fire-fighting strategy.