Six in 10 wildfires this year originated in agricultural ‘burnings’

Six out of every 10 rural fires registered this year started with agricultural ‘burnings’ (‘queimas’ or ‘queimadas’ as they are known here). Chief of SEPNA (the GNR police’s environmental arm) in Viseu, Luís Ribeiro, has explained: “We warn people to take great care with the use of fire for the burning of (crop) left-overs, particularly on days with a lot of wind”. Nonetheless, so far this year there have been 3,679 rural fires which have destroyed more than 10,000 hectares of forest and scrubland.