MONCHIQUE FIRES – SITREP – WEDNESDAY – MONDAY 8TH AUGUST – 12. 00 HRS

LATEST UPDATE  9TH AUGUST 0700 hrs

More than 100 people were evacuated during the night of Wednesday from more than a dozen villages in Silves and are staying overnight in a pavilion of the Escola EB 2,3 João de Deus.
The fire in the municipality of Silves reignited this Wednesday in the early afternoon in some of the areas where it had already passed, due to the intensity of the wind. Several localities were evacuated, such as Enxerim, Pedreira and Cumeada.

At 2245 hrs traffic was cut off at Estrada Nacional (EN) 266 between Portimão and Monchique. Also the 267 roads between Nave and Marmelete and São Marcos and Monchique and in EN124 between Silves and S. Bartolomeu de Messines, according to the authorities.
UPDATE 8TH AUGUST – 22.00 hrs

Civil Protection has appealed to the population to stay in safe places, admitting that the situation on the ground “is very complex.  “We do not expect an easy period,” said the second commander, Patrícia Gaspar.

According to the briefing made around 8:00 pm by her, “it is practically impossible to anticipate the behaviour of the fire and the effects of weather in the theatre of operations.”

At times the fire reached a speed superior to 2 kms per hour. “The fire has taken on extreme behaviour.

GNR has been evacuating the village of Enxerim in Silves since 18h45. This village is about 700 meters from the main roundabout of Silves.
During the night heavy machinery will be used to open up containment zones, in order to facilitate fire control tomorrow.

The fire is once again affecting the hillside of Fóia and in Meia Viana, where many means of combat, both terrestrial and aerial, are already operating. The fire that has reignited in Fóia is heading south.

Pedreira was evacuated due to safety reasons, due to the advance of the fire.

The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) warned that inhalation of fumes or chemicals and heat can cause damage to the airways and issued recommendations on how to act in these situations. To avoid the harmful effects of smoking exposure, the DGS advises people to stay inside buildings, stating that “it is the most effective way to prevent damage.
The GNR also called on the population to comply with the directions and guidelines of the authorities in case of evacuation due to the fires. “In the event of a preventive evacuation, at the direction of the authorities, people must comply with the instructions given and should never go back to an already evacuated area.

People should remain calm, assist children, elderly people with limitations of mobility and carry their pets. They should not waste time collecting unnecessary objects and, if possible, leaving the exterior lights of the house on, “the statement said. In addition disconnect gas  pipes and try to make sure the bottles are away from a possible source of flame.

The 26 Iberian lynxes of the breeding centre of Herdade da Santinha, in Silves, were removed from the site by the ICNF, due to the fire that is in the vicinity.

Feeding of animals that have been removed from the areas affected by the Monchique fire is being guaranteed by the Council. The Monchique Vet has provided support to both livestock and companion animals, ensuring that they do not lack essential goods.

The fire is once again affecting the hillside of Fóia and in Meia Viana, where many means of combat, both terrestrial and aerial, are already operating. The fire that has reignited in Fóia is heading south.

Pedreira was evacuated due to safety reasons, due to the advance of the fire.

 

 

 

UPDATE 8TH AUGUST 2018 – 17.00 HRS

We have received complaints that members of the media and other individuals are venturing close to fires and obstructing their work.

Some people get gratification from this and others for monetary reasons. DO NOT DO this or encourage this activity.

We are not publishing pictures of the fires to avoid encouraging such activity.

 

STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER – António Costa

The prime minister was in the weekly briefing of the National Authority of Civil Protection and stressed that “it still takes many days of work so that the fire of Monchique is totally extinct”.

Until then, we must “take advantage of the windows of opportunity to combat it, which happen essentially at night and at dawn.” And it is at this point that the great battle and effort must be made.

For now, it is necessary to “continue to do the containment work that has been done”. The Prime Minister stated that the situation “will become worse” today, due to the weather conditions, namely “strong wind, high temperatures and low humidity”.

EARLIER UPDATE 13.00) hrs

Combat against the Monchique fire with “good progress” but still with two active fronts

There has been “good progress” and Monchique’s firefighting situation is, on Wednesday, “more stable than yesterday afternoon,” said Patrícia Gaspar, 2nd national commander of the National Civil Protection Authority. The new operative responsible for combating this fire said, however, that “they are likely to be reactivations, especially during the afternoon”, which will be dealt be stronger resources on the ground.

The following points were made:

We are faced with an extremely complex operation, it is obvious that there may be times when things do not run 100% as we would wish

There are two fronts that inspire more care, “one more active in the area of ​​the Fóia” in Monchique, and another in Silves, next to Pinheiro and Garrado and ” It will be in these two places that the greatest effort will be concentrated, at the operational level, but without forgetting the consolidation actions of the areas where the fire has already been dominated.

This is one of the ‘great challenges’ for today: ‘to consolidate all the work done since the beginning of the fire, namely yesterday and today’.

Another priority is toto ensure that reactivations are attacked in a strong way.

The 2nd National Commander stated “We were able to make good progress and have a more stable situation today than we did yesterday afternoon”.

The number of injured has increased slightly” from 30 to 32, one of them in serious condition.

Of those who were evacuated ahead of the fires and sent to, Also the settlements were evacuated by ahead of the fire and temporarily accommodated at Portimão Arena,  50 were able to return to their homes or are staying with relatives.

There are 181 people displaced due to the fire, as of Wednesday morning.

Additional Information

The territorial mapping, done through the European Union’s satellite navigation system Copernicus, shows that the area burned by the Monchique fire is already 23,100 hectares,

Currently, more than 1,400 operatives are on the ground and reinforcement of urban vehicles of the district of Lisbon are expected. Twelve aircraft are supporting the firefighting that began on Friday, early in the afternoon.

Those that maybe affected by the fires in its two main fronts Fóia” and Silves SHOULD PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE SITUATION AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE GNR AND OTHER AUTHORITIES IF DIRECTED TO EVACUATE. YOUR POSSESSIONS MAYBE REPLACEABLE, YOUR LIFE IS NOT. DO NOT RETURN TO YOUR HOME UNLESS IT IS DECLARED SAFE TO DO SO.

For those who maybe affected pay particular attention to prevention measures and self-protection. Fire service do their best but may not be able to arrive in time. Consider leaving if you feel your property maybe under threat.

Protection Advice: https://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com/during-fires/


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