The President of the Assembly of the Republic, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, today sent to the parliamentary leaders a draft resolution to consecrate June 17 as National Day in Memory of Victims of Forest Fires, according to information sent to Lusa .

The initiative should be voted on this Friday. In the text sent to the parliamentary leaders, Ferro Rodrigues recalls that “June 17, 2017 will remain in history as the day when the most deadly forest fire in Portugal took place, continuing for more than a week in the municipalities of Pedrógão Grande, Castanheira de Pera, Ansião, Alvaiázere, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Arganil, Góis, Penela, Pampilhosa da Serra, Oleiros and Sertã.

This fire, which broke out in Escalos Fundeiros, Pedrógão Grande county, and which later spread to neighbouring municipalities in the districts of Leiria, Coimbra and Castelo Branco, caused 66 deaths and 253 injuries, seven of them seriously, and destroyed about 500 houses , 261 of which were permanent housing, and 50 companies.

“The Assembly of the Republic, an organ of sovereignty representative of all Portuguese citizens, was sensitive to the unrest caused by a tragedy of this magnitude, so brutal and so cruel,” reads the text of the initiative. The high number of injuries and significant damage to property, “highlighting the approximately five hundred housing units, one third of which is the first housing, and half a hundred industrial units in several sectors,” in addition to the large losses in equipment and various infrastructures.

” The initiative also states that it is now up to the parliament to “create the conditions to honour the mortal victims of this great fire, evoking its memory.” Considering “just the appeal of the Association of Fire Victims of Pedrógão Grande so that June 17 be dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives in forest fires,” Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues proposes to the Assembly of the Republic to consecrate that as the Day National Report on Victims of Forest Fires.

The president of the Assembly of the Republic also points out that the initiative aims to “evoke the men, women and children who lost their lives in 2017, but also those who, throughout our history, have succumbed to the scourge of forest fires in Portugal “. Ferro Rodrigues concludes that the initiative is also intended to “remember that a tragedy like that which occurred in 2017 cannot be repeated”. The note sent to Lusa also indicates that Ferro Rodrigues is the first subscriber of the draft resolution that “should count on the support of the parliamentary groups”.