Region escapes worst of the summer’s fires

The Algarve appears to have escaped the worst of this summer’s fires, according to a report from the Portuguese Forest Authority which says that between January 1 and August 31 the region registered the lowest number of fires in a decade.

However, the authority has warned that the situation may change at any moment because of the high temperatures still being recorded at the beginning of September, and because of the large amount of combustible material accumulated in the region.

Up to the end of August, some 90 hectares of forest in the Algarve have been destroyed by fire, compared with 1,680 hectares in the same period last year.

Risk continues

The worst year in recent times was in 2003, when the flames destroyed nearly 44,000 hectares of forest.

The two largest fires reported this year in the region took place in the council areas of Alcoutim on August 12 and Loulé on August 28.

There were a total of 264 fires to end of August, compared with 438 fires in the region last year.

Algarve Civil Protection commander Vaz Pinto said: “So far the firefighters have been able to quell the fires in the region but the risk conditions still continue and all preventive actions have to be made in order to avoid more fires.”

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