UPDATED 15.11 HRS
Patrícia Gaspar, Deputy National Operational commander, is already on her way to Monchique to coordinate the operation on the ground, now that her administration has been nationwide.
Eduardo Cabrita Minister of Internal Administration took the opportunity to announce that the operations in the field pass to the national command of the Civil Protection, due to the size of the fire and the resources involved.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) and the Judicial Police (PJ) are investigating the fire that broke out on Friday in the municipality of Monchique, Faro district, confirmed the two authorities.
“The Public Ministry of the DIAP [Department of Investigation and Criminal Action] of Faro will investigate the fires of Monchique, to determine its causes and its possible legal framework,” the Attorney General’s Office said in a written response to the questions placed by JN already yesterday.
GNR police have reinforced patrols along the Algarve’s A22 motorway as they are expecting smoke from the Monchique and Silves fires to greatly reduce visibility. The Minister of Internal Administration Eduardo Cabrita explained that the northerly wind would see coastal areas along the Algarve see increases in smoke and the A22 motorway may also be affected. Cabrita added that the current wind direction and speed is expected to last for the coming days.
Reports from residents of Monte Branco, on the edge of Silves town say that are fires in this area.
UPDATED 13:00 hrs
Several locations in the Sierra de Monchique are without mobile telecommunications, and operators are awaiting authorisation from Civil Protection to intervene on the ground and re-establish all communications, companies said today.
A total of 16 people were assisted, between 6:00 pm yesterday, 6 and 7:30 am today, at the Health Center of Monchique, said today the Regional Health Administration (ARS) Algarve.
In this Health Center, there is a team of nursing professionals from the Barlavento ACeS, which is supporting INEM in assisting the field operatives and the population. There was “no need to evacuate to another health facility so far,” says ARS.
A team of five nurses and a physician from the Windward ACeS were also moved to the Arena de Portimão to provide support to the 120 people who stayed there, keeping the team there.
In the Emergency Service of the Hospital University Center of Algarve (CHUA), between August 6 and 7, 15 people (fourteen in the Portimão unit and one in the Faro unit) were assisted, all with injuries light. All have already had high clinical.
ARS Algarve also provided a team of health professionals from the Monchique Health Center to assist, if necessary, the people who are in the EB 2,3 School in Monchique.
It also alerts the population to avoid inhalation of smoke as well as exposure to heat. For more information call SNS24: 808 24 24 24. In case of an emergency call 112,
SITREP 7TH AUGUST 2018 – 11.00 hrs
At a press conference this morning Vítor Vaz Pinto, operational commander of the Civil Protection gave the following information:
There are still six “hot spots” in the Monchique fire, but the areas of greatest concern today are south of Nave towards Casais and “the area of the Odelouca dam
Air resources again have difficulty operating because of the great “turbulence.” There are ‘strong gusts, which cause operational constraints’. “We have difficulties in combat due to turbulence, which prevents the use of air in some circumstances.
However, he asserted, ‘it is not for lack of means that the extinction [of the fire] is not done sooner’.
That “the priority is to fight the fire, to safeguard the people”, urging everyone to “respect the guidelines of the authorities”, especially those who are involved in “withdrawing people” or “cutting roads to prevent people entering risk areas ‘.
There is a new fire front in the area between Casais and Monchique and it evolves along the Marmelete road, about one km from the Nave quarry. The residents of Lameiras are being withdrawn by the authorities as a precaution.
In Caldas de Monchique, there is fire with “great intensity,” which is 4 kms south of the town of Monchique.
This fire forced the closure of 266 National Road, GNR source told Lusa.
EDP had to cut off electricity supplies in some areas of the Monchique fire for ‘safety issues’ and at the request of civil protection while putting generators in other locations.
There are also areas where there is no light because the poles have been destroyed by fire.
Over 20,000 hectares have been affected by the fires.
The fire has been hampered by the intensity and constant changes of direction of the wind and by the difficulty of access of the land to the land due to the dense vegetation.
The flames, which spread through several foci and fronts, with constant reactivations and projections, are being fought by almost 1237 operatives, supported by 389 vehicles and 17 aerial means, with difficulty in acting. These are six Fireboss aircraft, four Canadairs, four light / medium helicopters and one heavy helicopter. There is also a support plane. In Monchique there are already operatives from all over the country, from Viseu and Aveiro, as well as Spain