Fires: Surveillance and detection has a directive for the first time this year

Lisbon, 22 April 2021 (Lusa) – The fight against rural fires will have a new instrument this year to improve coordination between the entities involved in the detection and surveillance of fires, the Secretary of State for Internal Administration told Lusa today.

This new instrument is the Integrated Rural Fire Detection and Surveillance Directive (DIVDIR) and was approved for the first time this year.

Patrícia Gaspar stated that, in the scope of firefighting, there was only one directive that defines operational procedures with regard to rural fire response operations.

However, he maintained that “there is a lot of work that is done upstream of this component of the response and that has to do with the functions of surveillance, but also of fire detection”.

“There cannot be a good fight if there is no good surveillance and good detection. What is intended is to structure these processes and this directive enters in some way upstream of the DECIR [Special Device for Fighting Rural Fires] ”, he said.

According to the Secretary of State, the new directive aims to define all the mechanisms that structure the component of surveillance and fire detection.

“It does not come to create new mechanisms, it does not come to create a new doctrine, it comes to structure and organize the processes and functions that already existed and are performed by different entities”, he explained.

The Integrated Rural Fire Detection and Surveillance Directive will be under the tutelage of the Republican National Guard, which will coordinate in a “more structured” way with all entities involved in rural fire surveillance and detection operations, such as PSP, Forces Armed Forces and Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF).

Patrícia Gaspar explained that in the scope of the detection and surveillance of rural fires, there are mobile surveillance systems, forest video surveillance, aerial surveillance and the National Network of Watchtowers, as well as the role that all citizens play.

“All of us, in rural areas, if we see a fire coming, we have an obligation to alert through 112. The popular are also integrated here”, he said, stressing that the directive will “aggregate in a coordinated and structured manner all these functions” in the surveillance and detection.

This new directive aims to improve coordination between all the entities involved so that there is an “earlier detection” of rural fires.

The Integrated Rural Fire Detection and Surveillance Directive and the Special Rural Fire Fighting Device (DECIR) 2021 was approved on Wednesday at the meeting of the National Civil Protection Commission.

This year’s DECIR is composed of 12,058 elements, 2,795 teams, 2,656 vehicles and 60 air vehicles during the period of greatest commitment, between July 1st and September 30th, called Level IV.

According to the Ministry of Internal Administration, the device for fighting rural fires will have this year “with the largest number of ever” involved operatives.

Patrícia Gaspar also told Lusa that the financial directive, an annual document that regulates the State’s contribution to expenses resulting from firefighters’ interventions, namely in fighting fires, should be approved next week, but did not provide details on the values.

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