MONCHIQUE RURAL FIRES – SITREP 5TH AUGUST 2018 23.00 hrs

Civil Protection Calls on Population to remain calm

Civil Protection Commander calls on the population to remain calm and urged people to trust the authorities to safeguard themselves.

At National Headquarters,” the National Civil Protection Authority stated that the main front of the fire that has been spreading for three and a half days in the Sierra de Monchique has reached the Odelouca dam and the firefighters will “be more able to fight it said at a press conference tonight.

Duarte Costa National Operational Commander was confident that the operators on the ground will have better conditions to fight the fire, not only because of the barrier that the Odelouca dam represents, but also because of the prediction of a change in the weather, the 50% “and lower temperatures.

“I hope we can control this fire during the night, which has been going on for too long,” said the ANPC operational commander.

The same official added that the means continue to be reinforced in Monchique, being on the way to the Algarve more “five combat groups”, integrating elements of the special force of firemen, GNR and Armed Forces. There are also eight more track machines, which will join the 32 already there.

Considering that the flames have been on the doors of Monchique for about three hours , several buses have already been requisitioned, but that, with the favourable evolution of the fire, ‘it seems that they will not be necessary’ .

“Do not panic, listen to the recommendations of the civil protection agents,” advised the ANPC operational commander.

Note: There has been much speculation on social media regarding Monchique. People are advised TO LISTEN TO OFFICIAL STATEMENTS AND FOLLOW THE ADVICE OF THE AUTHORITIES.

Despite ensuring that the situation in Monchique and Alferce is “controlled”, Duarte Costa admitted that in the small housing settlements that were being evacuated during the afternoon, the houses “could have suffered from the fires.”

“We cannot do the perimeter defence of all the small localities, we are concentrating on the larger nuclei. The small clusters, from which the people were taken, may have suffered fire. But from what has been conveyed to me, most of Monchique is safeguarded and the population is protected, “he said.

Many were those who tried to resist the evacuation of the village for fear that their property would be compromised.  Civil Protection says that the priority is people. “There is no material more important than human life,” he said.  Concerning the possibility that some dwellings have been affected, the commander confirms that there may have been cases that have suffered fire damage.

The inhabitants of Portela do Vento were removed this this afternoon, at around 4:00 p.m., as a ‘precaution’.


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