Lisbon, 01 Aug 2019 (Lusa) – More than 60 Navy and Army military personnel will be reinforcing fire prevention surveillance and patrols from nine districts from Friday to Monday, the General Staff said today. General of the Armed Forces.

“Rising temperatures for the next few days will bring 66 military personnel to the ground from tomorrow [Friday] on 22 patrols (six Navy and 16 Army), which will reinforce ground surveillance and deterrent patrols in nine districts of mainland Portugal, in support of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC) on fire prevention, ”reads a statement sent to the media.

EMGFA states that the objective of this measure is “to increase prevention actions throughout the country, with special focus on the districts of Bragança, Beja, Castelo Branco, Evora, Faro, Guarda, Portalegre, Santarém and Vila Real”.

“The military of the Armed Forces will be engaged in ground surveillance operations, but, if necessary, may be engaged in aftermath actions or general support for protective and relief operations that may be triggered,” he adds in a statement released today.

According to the EMGFA, these military personnel “add up to the 124 who are already in the same functions in much of the national territory”.

Among these, 105 military personnel are “within the scope of the ‘faunos plan”, in support of the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests, and 19 military personnel under municipal protocols, in surveillance, deterrence and public awareness missions ”.

“The Armed Forces General Staff, through its liaison officers to the District Relief Operations Commands, is constantly monitoring the evolution of the operational situation,” the note added.

Civil Protection today extended the special state of yellow alert until Monday on the continuation of favourable weather conditions to the risk of rural fire and announced the reinforcement of means and air and ground surveillance.

The decision to extend the yellow alert is justified due to weather issues (wind and low humidity) and the fact that August is the month with the largest influx of people into the interior of the country, which increases the risk of rural ignitions.

Although extreme temperatures are not expected until Monday, it is expected to maintain the weather conditions observed over the past few days in a moderate to strong wind, both day and night, and low relative humidity throughout the southern Tagus Valley and and in the northern interior, especially in the districts of Castelo Branco and Guarda.

To address these critical factors, ANEPC’s deputy operational commander, Pedro Nunes, said that Civil Protection will increase air and ground surveillance through the use of observation and surveillance aircraft that are part of the forest fire fighting device to use Air Force drones to fulfill the mission in question.

The state of alert – said Pedro Nunes – will apply in the districts of Vila Real, Bragança, Guarda, Castelo Branco, Santarem, Portalegre, Evora, Beja and Faro.