MIL OSI-C. Mediterranean Region: Portugal
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, said that Civil Protection will maintain a “very high” level of fire fighting readiness until the end of October, with “permanently serving the system” about 7600 operational.
After presiding over the meeting of the National Operational Coordination Center at the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority in Lisbon, Eduardo Cabrita told reporters that these 7600 operatives could “add immediately, if necessary, about 2000 from the Conservation Institute area. Nature and Forests’. The Minister also said that there will be “very high readiness for air assets”.
“Last Saturday we had 101 fires and 26 air interventions. This is a matter that we will have to continue with full vigilance and with full attention, ”he added.
This year’s Operational Directive on the Special Rural Firefighting Device states that the number of ground and air assets is reduced from Wednesday, after the end of Level III operational commitment, in which they have been mobilized, since the beginning of the month, 9279 elements, 1972 vehicles and 60 aircraft. However, the document states that ‘hazard and risk assessment will determine the level of additional commitment of resources’.
Country is today “better prepared”
Two years after the 2017 fires – in which about 50 people lost their lives – the Minister said that the country is today “better prepared, with more means” and better “articulation among all institutions”. According to Eduardo Cabrita, results were also obtained that allowed “to rebuild confidence in the civil protection system”.
“To date, we have a 45% reduction in the number of occurrences compared to the last 10 years and a 66% reduction in burned area compared to the average of the last 10 years,” said Eduardo Cabrita, adding that 2019 records the second smallest burnt area and number of fire events since 2009.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.