A  member the Vila Verde Volunteer Bombeiros, Braga, was shot with a shotgun when fighting a large fire caused by an uncontrolled burning.

The incident occurred early on Friday when firefighters fought a forest fire with three active fronts, which was plowing in the town of Bemposta, in the parish of Aboim da Nóbrega, Vila Verde county, following a controlled burning which became out of control.

João Gonçalves, a 27-year-old single, residing in Portela das Cabras, Vila Verde, was hit in the right leg by shrapnel from a shotgun as he prepared to fight the fire.

He was transported to the Hospital of Braga.

“There are no words to try to justify how someone in a cowardly way decides to shoot someone … who is there to help,” said Luis Morais, commander of the Vila Verde Volunteer Firefighters, at the Hospital door of Braga. “Nobody understands this,” he said.

“Only in April – and it rained with some intensity – I have 25 occurrences in my county caused by uncontrolled fires,” added the commander of the Volunteer Firefighters of Vila Verde. “The legislation is clear: making a burn requires a license, lacks safety standards, lacks the means of self-protection and must be done in the morning,” said Luís Morais.

So far there are still no detainees due to this shotgun incident, but the Homicide Brigade of the Judicial Police of Braga is already interviewing several people from the area, and soldiers from the GNR of Vila Verde and the Detachment of Intervention of the Command of the GNR of Braga have been mobilized.