The National Republican Guard (GNR) Protection of Nature and Environment (SEPNA) and the Protection and Relief Intervention Group (GIPS), will conduct throughout Portugal until May 14, several actions aimed mainly at the school communities, on the problem of forest fires.

These awareness actions aim to raise awareness of the importance of the preventive procedures to be adopted at this time of year, namely on the use of fire, cleaning and removal of weeds and maintenance of fuel management bands, with a view to reducing the number of occurrence and minimization of forest fire risks.

The GNR records for 2016 more than 161 thousand hectares (more 93 thousand than in 2015) were burned, compared to the same period in 2015 (figures in brackets):

  • 16,515 occurrences (minus 3 966);
  • 7,580 crimes (minus 1,188);
  • 21 detainees (minus 53);
  • 2 095 misconduct (less 581);
  • 578 people identified (minus 324).

It should be noted that the three main causes of fire were:

  • 33% due to negligence;
  • 36% for unknown causes;
  • 20% intentional;
  • 10% by re-ignition.

In addition to these awareness actions, in a subsequent phase, enforcement actions will also be carried out with the objective of correcting situations of gross non-compliance with the mandatory maintenance of the fuel management bands.