Strong aerial attack decisive in taming high-risk fire in Monchique

Fire was brought under control in less than two hours

A quick and strong aerial response to the wildfire which broke out yesterday afternoon in Monchique proved decisive in bringing it under control in less than two hours.

Almost as soon as the blaze broke out at around 3.24pm in Chilrão, over 10 firefighting airplanes and helicopters started battling the flames, along with the help of over 200 firefighters and 65 vehicles.

The fire was brought under control at 5.20pm and was described as in “conclusion” by 6.14pm, with only seven firefighters and two vehicles still at the site this morning to monitor the situation, according to Portugal’s Civil Protection website.

Quoted by Lusa news agency, Monchique mayor Paulo Alves said that the fire hit a “densely wooded area” on the northern slope of Fóia, which is the highest point in the the Algarve. The affected area was comprised of eucalyptus groves, and “there were no houses at risk,” the mayor added.

As Observador newspaper points out, the Monchique mountains are one of the most fire-prone areas in the southern part of the country and were affected by a major fire in 2018. Just last weekend, a fire that began in the municipality of Odemira and remained active for four days threatened the municipality of Monchique in the Algarve after having reached Aljezur.

By Michael Bruxo

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