Full House at Monchique Wildfire Prevention Seminar

It was a full house at the Monchique Wildfire Prevention and Environmental Protection Seminar held at the Junta de Fregusia de Monchique on Friday 30th May 2014, jointly organized by Safe Communities Algarve and GNR Portimao.

The seminar began with David Thomas President of Associacao Safe Communities Algarve welcoming those present and gave an introduction on how the Association supports the work of the emergency services concerning wildfire prevention. A presentation was then given by Captain Rui Cardona Commander GNR Portimão of the work of SEPNA in helping to prevent forest fires as well as their roles in dealing with cruelty to animals and other environmental protection matters.

Ms Carina Coelho from the ANPC Civil Protection Agency then explained the role of the ANPC outlining their structure, responsibilities, how they coordinate resources in response to fires as well as action to be taken in the unlikely event of an earthquake. This was followed by a presentation by Manuel Carvelho, Commander of the Monchique Bombeiros who outlined the work they undertook in both preventing and dealing with fires in the area.

A lengthy question and answer session then took place in which questions were raised about the cleaning of both private and public land in order to help prevent fires; the role of the municipality in this respect; how to report fire risks; the GNR Safe Residence Programme and whether the numbering system could be used by the Bombeiros; the use of fire prevention leaflets for visitors using mobile homes and other fire risks.

After the seminar a visit was made to the GNR GIPS base nearby where a briefing was took place on coordinating local response to a wildfire followed by a demonstration of their equipment. The visit included a visit to and briefing on the operation of the helicopter operated by DECIF and a demonstration of some of its equipment. The group then visited the Bombeiros fire station where Commander Carvelho gave a talk on how the station operated and its equipment.

David Thomas commented “This was one of the most comprehensive seminars and displays to take place in area on this important subject aimed preventing wildfires. Our thanks go to the GNR Portimao in helping to organize this event. The Fire risk has already been at “extreme” level in Monchique several times so far this year so I am pleased with the turnout from residents”.

More displays/seminars are planned in the coming weeks including Messines on 26th June and Silves on 4th July. More details are on the Safe Communities Algarve website; If you would like to attend please register with Associação Safe Communities Algarve at 913045093 or