From September 4th until midnight yesterday, September 10th, under the Alert Status operation, the GNR, through SEPNA, criminal investigation units, cavalry units and GIPS, strengthened surveillance, and ground patrolling throughout the mainland to help prevent forest fires.

In addition, the GNR, using a Portuguese Air Force (FAP) helicopter, carried out air patrols, focusing on districts that are in Special Alert State, with very high and maximum fire risk.

In addition to its normal FAP (pilot and mechanic) garrison, the helicopter was carrying two GNR military personnel, who were constantly observing the forest areas, in order to detect activities that violated the stated declaration, or that constitute suspicious criminal behaviour..

During the air patrol carried out yesterday, September 10, near Rio Maior, the air surveillance detected an illegal forestry activity, using machinery, an activity that is prohibited because the Alert Situation in place.

The military, who were in the helicopter, transmitted the GPS coordinates to the ground patrol, which allowed them to intercept and identify two men, 22 and 56 years old, employees of a forestry company, which operated two wood loading and hauling machines. As a result the men immediately ceased work.

The facts were sent to the Judicial Court of Santarém for further action

As the entity responsible for coordinating national forest surveillance patrols during the Warning Status period, GNR coordinated a total of 5 780 patrols, of which 3,846 were carried out by GNR themselves. A total of 7 836 military were involved travelling more than 222,000 kms. During this period, the GNR still identified 24 individuals and detained 4 others, due to the suspicion of the crime of forest fires.