Major Incident Report


Rural Fire – Fica Bem, São Marcos Da Serra, Silves



A2 Reopened to traffic

Data: 25-07-2022 13:13

Estado: Despacho de 1º Alerta

Local: Fica Bem. Freguesia: São Marcos Da Serra

Concelho: Silves – Distrito: Faro

Incêndio: Bush fire

N.º Oc. 2022080038271

UPDATE: 10.30 hrs

GOOD NEWS – The fire is now under Conclusion.

A total of 416 operatives and 137 vehicles remain at the scene to check for any hot spots and reignitions.

UPDATE: 0645 HRS 27th July 2022

Fire remains under resolution and work of fire fighters is mainly to deal with any new ignitions within the burned area covering some 1500 hectares. No changes overnight.

410 operatives supported by 312 vehicles remain deployed.

UPDATE 23.15 hrs

Fire remains under resolution. Total 443 operatives supported by 155 vehicles deployed.

UPDATE 2200 hrs: Fire remains under resolution with little change reported since earlier. 462 operatives, supported by 163 vehicles deployed.

UPDATE: 1930 hrs

Fire remains at a resolution stage.

Deployment 496 operatives supported by 172 vehicles and 4 aircraft.



Fire remains at resolution stage

The fire that broke out on Monday in São Marcos da Serra (Silves) destroyed at least one first-class property, affecting more than 1,500 hectares of rural area, estimated the mayor of Silves.

“We estimate that about 1,500 hectares of rural area burned, but we are still making a reconnaissance on the ground, both the burned area and the damage and buildings affected by the fire”, said the mayor of Silves, Rosa Palma.

According to the mayor, the fire destroyed a first-class property in the Azilheira area, and the municipality “has already provided the necessary goods for the requalification of the same, not only of the building, but also of the house’s own assets”.

“The reconstruction of this first home property is a situation that we classify as a priority, but there may be others about which we are not yet aware”, said the president of that municipality in the district of Faro.

Rosa Palma highlighted the importance of the survey being carried out in the area affected by the flames to know for sure what burned, among “housings, animals, agricultural crops and other essential goods for people”.

Deployment 513 operatives supported by 179 aircraft and 3 aircraft deployed.

According to Civil Protection “This was an exceptional fire and, in terms of the weather, it was expected to affect 6,000 hectares, but it will only be 1/4 of that forecast, although the accounting is not yet closed”, he added.

Richard Marques also stated that the area affected by the fire had not burned in the last three decades, which made it assume an extensive perimeter.

Deployment 510 operatives supported by 177 aircraft and 4 aircraft deployed.


The fire remains at Resolution stage despite the risk of re-ignitions that were referred to earlier.

The temperature has increased and is 33C with and RH of 34%. The winds are from the north west at 18 km/h gusting at 40 km/h

A total of 553 operatives remain are deployed., including Bombeiros, GNR, Special Civil Protection Force, INEM and others.

Update 1430 hrs Copernicus Satellite. Large area is to the west of A2

UPDATE 12h00

Richard Marques, commander of the Civil Protection District Operational Command of Faro (CDOS), in a meeting with journalists reported that the fire in Silves was an “exceptional fire”.

The commander explained that the flames had “a propagation speed of 2400 meters per hour” and that fighting the fire was made difficult “taking into account the meteorological context that was experienced”.

There were 2 minor injuries, a firefighter and an operative, the two people who were assisted at the scene.

Richard Marques also says that “the entire device” of the firefighters and Civil Protection will remain on the ground, as re-ignitions are expected.

The weather conditions are not favourable and “a weather scenario very similar to what we have experienced in the last 24 hours” is expected, including the intensification of the wind.

Deployment: 573 operatives, supported by 200 vehicles and six aircraft

Map showing hotspots.

UPDATE 1100 hrs 

Copernicus activated 26th July 2022

UPDATE 0930 hrs

A 2 Reopened to traffic – Fire under Resolution

That means Fire with no danger of spreading beyond the perimeter already reached

A total of 597 operatives supported by 204 vehicles and 9 aircraft/helicopters deployed.

It appears that a massive use of aircraft and ground forces early this morning whilst RH is higher and conditions more favourable have helped.

UPDATE: 0900 hrs (updated further 0945 hrs)

Road closures source WAZE: IC 1 and A2 now opened



The A2 remains cut between Messines and Almodôvar. However, the IC1 has already reopened to traffic.

The weather situation around 0800 hrs at the scene was a cooler 123.2C, RH higher at 55% and winds 11km/h gusting 24 km/h.

Wind gusts of 45 km/h expected this afternoon.

Rural fire hazard whilst still extreme is lower at 76 compared to 89 yesterday.

Deployment 595 operatives, supported by 208 vehicles and two aircraft/helicopters

UPDATE 0645 hrs Tuesday 26th July 2022

Fire remained active overnight Deployment 583 operatives supported by 207 vehicles.

UPDATE: 2330 hrs

Deployment increased to 620 operatives and 219 vehicles.

UPDATE 2245 hrs

Due to the amount of smoke from the fire we have issued a separate post on this subject.

Deployment now: 556 operatives and 199 vehicles.

The fire has two active fronts: one to evolve to the Southeast and the other to the South.

According to the same source, having “low and medium voltage lines in the theatre of operations has been a challenge”.

The difficult access, combined with temperatures above 35 degrees and low humanity, are another problem.


Weather conditions as forecast this morning.

UPDATE 2045:

Safe Communities issued the following smoke bulletin

The fire at Sao Marcos da Serra originated in the area shown as a red dot on this map at the very north of Silves district bordering Beja District. Its position in relation to the rest of the Algarve is in our comments below posted 22.25 hrs. From what we can see it has spread SLIGHTLY eastwards and southwards between the area of the IC1 and A2 the later therefore being closed as a precautionary measure.

Because of the winds around 10 km/h gusting 24 km/h from the NW/NNW, the smoke is being driven in a SSE/SE direction covering parts of the central Algarve. This is normal SO DO NOT be alarmed.

Smoke 35 kms away seen at Alfontes

You will continue to smell smoke overnight in some areas depending on the progression of the wind which is forecast to decrease slightly.

UPDATE: 2015 hrs

The southern motorway (A2), connecting Lisbon/Algarve, was closed to road traffic in both directions, between Ourique (Beja) and São Bartolomeu de Messines (Faro), due to the fire in São Marcos da Serra, a GNR source said. .

“The closing of the A2 between Ourique (Beja) and São Bartolomeu de Messines (Faro) is in addition to the closing of the IC1 (Complementary Itinerary), between the same locations, two of the main connecting routes between North and South, noted .

The IC1 was closed to traffic in the middle of the afternoon today, also for prevention and for road safety due to smoke caused by the fire that broke out around 1:00 pm near the village of Fica Bem, in the parish of São Marcos da Serra.

In view of the cutting of the two lanes, “those traveling in the North/South direction, “can take the detour on the IP2 towards Ourique and Castro Verde, then follow Estrada Nacional 2 towards the Algarve”, indicated the GNR.

In addition to the relief of the terrain, the firefighters are also struggling with the lack of access, the wind and vegetation in ‘water stress’ due to the drought that has devastated the region”.

In turn, a source from the District Relief Operations Command (CDOS) of Faro said that the fire in the São Marcos da Serra area, Silves, “is evolving on two fronts, in an area of ​​bush and with many electrical lines medium voltage, which makes it difficult for air assets to intervene”.

Deployment 445 operatives supported by 153 vehicles and 9 aircraft.

The rural fire hazard in the area is 89 well into the maximum level which means it is an intense fire and difficult to control.

UPDATE 1940 hrs

This fire has already forced the preventive evacuation of around 50 people of several locations, such as Monte das Zorras, Boião, Alcarias Novas, Corte Peral, Chaminé, Boião, Casas Velhas and Azilheira.

Most of these people found shelter in the homes of family members, with only one being housed in a support area created by the municipality, in São Bartolomeu de Messines, said Rosa Palma, mayor of Silves,

There are two active fronts.

The fire is advancing very fast. The flames have already forced the interruption of traffic in some sections of the IC1 and reached houses in the village of Azilheira.

About 20 people live in the village who have already been advised by the authorities to leave their homes.

Deployment 419 operatives, supported by 144 vehicles and eight aircraft/helicopter.

UPDATE 1840 hrs

The Complementary Itinerary (IC) 1 is closed to traffic between Ourique (Beja) and São Bartolomeu de Messines (Faro), with inhabitants being removed from several villages due to the fire that breaks out in São Marcos da Serra, in the municipality of Silves.

A source from the GNR’s Faro Territorial Command told Lusa that the cut to traffic on that section of the road that connects Lisbon to the Algarve was done as a precaution, with drivers having the A2 motorway as an alternative.

The village of Azilheira, in the municipality of Silves, was evacuated this Monday afternoon due to a fire, advances SIC Notícias.

Deployment: 369 operatives, 127 vehicles and six helicopters/aircraft.

UPDATE 17.30 hrs

According to the District Relief Operations Command (CDOS) of Faro, the fire, which broke out around 1:00 pm, “progresses near the village of Fica Bem, in a wooded area, without, for now, threatening homes” .

Deployment 335 operatives supported by 111 vehicles and 7 aircraft/helicopters

UPDATE 15.30 hrs; fire remains active.

Deployment 188 operatives supported by 58 vehicles and 5 aircraft/hrlicopters

UPDATE 1430 hrs

According to source from the Regional Emergency and Civil Protection Command the fire broke out near the IC1 and, therefore, this road is cut. See Waze mapping (picture under comments) showing the IC 1 at the junctions immediately to the north and south of the fire incident.

A total of 153 operatives supported by 45 vehicles and 4 aircraft/helicopters

SITREP 1412 hrs

Fire registered in an area of bush

Deployment 142 operatives supported by 42 vehicles and four aircraft/helicopters

It appears to be located next to the IC 1 (west side)

In the north of the municipality very close to the border with Beja District

The Rural Fire Hazard in the area which indicates fire intensity is EXTREME at 89, so this is a major factor in tackling this fire.