UPDATE 20.00 hrs
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will visit this Saturday the areas affected by the Monchique fire.
UPDATE 17.00 hrs
The Fire at Monchique in currently in the resolution stage having been downgraded from active earlier this morning. Currently 1346 personnel, supported by 432 vehicles an7 aircraft/helicopters are deployed mainly to deal with re-ignitions.
A small fire has broken out at Barão de São Miguel at 16.55 hrs with 14 operatives and four support vehicles on site. concluded 20.00 hrs.
The prime minister arrived at Monchique to meet with the presidents of the Chambers of Monchique, Silves and Portimão. António Costa stated he will “take stock of the situation and see what response has to be given”, ensuring that “the priority now is to rebuild”.
Before joining the meeting, the prime minister spoke with the journalists and defended the work of Civil Protection and security forces, in particular as regards the evacuation of localities.
“The priority of priorities is the safeguarding of human life. There fact there was no loss of life is absolutely extraordinary, “he said.
As for what could have gone wrong, António Costa said that everything will be investigated and that it is “normal” to have inquiries and evaluations for “occurrences of this dimension”.
A working group coordinated by the mayor of Monchique will prepare a “program for the economic reorganization of the Sierra de Monchique”, announced the Prime Minister António Costa, at a press conference in Monchique.
The head of the Government announced that this working group, coordinated by the mayor Rui André, will involve the “neighbouring municipalities”, also affected by the fire, as well as public entities, namely the Regional Directorate of Agriculture and the ICNF.
UPDATE 10.00 hrs
The fire of Monchique was given as dominated moments ago. The last update of the Civil Protection website, made minutes ago, found that the fire is dominated and in resolution stage. This means that there is no danger of the fire spreading beyond the perimeter already reached.
On the ground, many 1371 operational media, supported by 442 vehicles, continue as well as track machines. Air resources are also already operating and should continue to provide assistance to the ground forces in the consolidation of this fire which, according to the latest data, has burned more than 27,000 hectares of mountains in the counties of Monchique, Silves, Portimão and Odemira.
This morning, in a new press conference, the Operational Commander responsible for fighting the fires in the Monchique stated there is “no significant risk of the fire leaving the area that has already affected”.
Still, there are still “a few hot spots” and there will be “relievements in the next few hours and even days” that the forces on the ground want to strike at once. At the same time, the day will be of consolidation of the work already done, of vigilance and aftermath.
“Although the fire is dominated, we will not cross our arms. We will keep all our energy and dedication, “assured Patrícia Gaspar.
Also, air assets will continue to assist in the operation, including a reconnaissance aircraft, which “identifies hot spots”, which gives valuable help to the Civil Protection command when it comes to positioning the media.
Meanwhile, while the whole area hit by the fire tries to return to normality possible, this morning only a section of EN266 between the Rasmalho and Monchique is closed. From the south, access to this village can be done by the road from Odelouca to the Alferce, by the road from Portimão to Casais and from there to Monchique, or even via Aljezur to Marmelete and Monchique.