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The definitive guide to the new land clearance and fire protection rules

countrysideWelcome to our 5th  Definitive Guide to Rural Fire Protection and Land Cleaning. This special edition marks Civil Protection Day 1st March, writes David Thomas from Safe Communities Portugal.
Providing a safe environment is important to our quality of life here in Portugal. Fires in rural areas pose a risk to communities including: ourselves, our families, friends, animals and properties.
We must therefore do what we can to help reduce the fire risk through cleaning our land by 15th March 2018. An important step is creating awareness, and this is the aim of this campaign and guide - getting key information across so the protection steps can be taken. 
This guide cannot provide all the answers, as the laws can be quite complicated and are frequently changing, but I hope it will help address the most important issues and where clarification is required, provide the necessary contacts where further information can be found.
The subjects covered include such vital areas as:
The law concerning the cleaning of land (fuel management)
How "Rural areas" are defined
Protecting your house against Forest Fires -  What you need to do
Latest law update: law n.º10/2018, 14th February
What to do if the neighbouring land has not been cleaned
How will these measures be enforced
Priority areas for inspections
Groups of houses
What the councils should do
For guide - click here
It is clear many people are concerned that they may get fined for some minor infringement by not complying strictly with the law within the time limit. Fines, however, are the last resort and the whole object of the exercise is to make a start in protecting all of us and our property from rural fires. 
Much of it is common sense and when deciding what needs to be cleaned simply look at your land and ask a simply question - does this constitute a fire risk? If it does, take action. Also even if your land is not affected by the laws, keeping it clean will help protect your house should a fire breakout nearby.
The information included in this guide and Portugal News supplement are from official government channels, namely the ICNF, ANPC and GNR and are published in accordance with the national protocols between SCP and the departments concerned.
I would therefore like to thank Rui Almeida Head of the Forest Fire Defence Division ICNF and Comandant Vaz Pinto Operational Commander of the ANPC Faro for preparing introductions dedicated to this newsletter and the Portugal News/SCP supplement which was published on 23rd February 2018.
Please share this with others, especially those living in rural areas.
Finally I would like to thank Ibex Insurance, Destination Algarve,  Algarve Homes and Mestre Raposa or sponsoring this newsletter. If you would would like to be part of a community effort to promote crime prevention and public safety, we are pleased to hear from you.
Please contact us at:
David Thomas
Safe Communities Portugal
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+1 #13 SueF 2018-05-04 08:07
I would like to thank David for his efforts. Apart from defined distances, the fire precautions detailed are nothing more than plain common sense. When you live in a dry country, where fires are common, it shouldn't need a law and the threat of fines to tell us to look around and make our own properties as fire-resistant as possible. Thanks also to the Algarve Daily News for highlighting the issues.
+3 #12 Guido 2018-03-05 15:41
Dear Darcy, in fact it is not difficult to live in this banana republic .... all Portugese ignore all
rules and laws and most of the foreigners don't know "nothing" as the state is not communicating with its citizens. An universal rule says that any law worths only what the supervision or the control over that law worths... and that is very simple in Portugal: zero, zero and triple zero ! As simple as that.
0 #11 Darcy 2018-03-05 07:08
Oh dear, Elsa how do you continue to live in this country! And why do you bother, must be something in it for you or you would be of to some other metropolis.
The rule regarding grass and waste material clearance from the land is that this job has to be completed by the second week in March otherwise the land owner will be fined. This has always been the rule and it did not appear this year.
+2 #10 Elsa 2018-03-04 19:11
Not sure why these Portuguese are having a pop at this Brit whose original initiative to connect dispersed foreigners with the GNR is (hopefully) now replicated across Portugal. But with varying success. Several years ago we took our GPS, contact details and photo of the house to the local GNR station in the Alentejo as David advised and they did not connect with his initiative at all. Returning a month or two later to ask if we could update it and it was no where to be found! Being foreigners; presumably binned when we left the building. One week of sunshine and all this rain will be history.
+2 #9 Gerry 2018-03-04 17:13
I FOUND THE GUIDE and printed it out, now I must find a magnifying glass.
WHY can't we have simple straight forward instructions, every thing I read is conflicting and confusing. Do the same rules apply to houses with gardens in towns as in the countryside? What about trees that were there before the house? Is it true Carob, Almond and fruit trees are exempt from this law. HELP!
-3 #8 Guido 2018-03-04 15:42
Dear Ed, 40000 "usual readers of the Algarvedailynews" red the paper. Unfortunately practically none of them can do something about the subject or can make any impact on it.
And probably none of these readers will ever be confronted with rubbish or fire situations.
Concluion: David's message will have no impact... as he does not reach the target group involved in the ad hoc matter. That's what I ment.
+2 #7 Jimbo 2018-03-04 12:44
I never understand why Portuguese laws, which presumably have been around for some time (years?) suddenly have to be enforced within 2 weeks or so. If this had been started after the fires of last summer, with a deadline of say the end af April this year, when the rain usually finishes, that would be understandable, but this last minute rush reminds me of the great well registration panic, when all the foreigners crowded to register theirs, while all the sensible Portuguese sat on their hands and did nothing. How did that go? I would not mind having a brush clearing business at the moment, fortunes to be made.
+2 #6 Ed 2018-03-04 08:18
Quoting Guido:
Unfortuantately the only thing he is procuding is "lots of papers" that nobody reads and that helps nobody out of the mud we are in. Conclusion: maybe nice, but useless ...
I disagree, nearly 4,000 people have read this news item in its first 24 hours of publication.
-4 #5 Guido 2018-03-03 23:07
David is a great guy ! And as a pensionist in Portugal he found its way "to have a nice and great occupation" that gives him lots of credit, joy and admiration (specially from the GNR). And as a representative from London MET POLICE David is convinced "he is the most intelligent and clever guy among all this stupid guys in Portugal". Unfortuantately the only thing he is procuding is "lots of papers" that nobody reads and that helps nobody out of the mud we are in. Conclusion: maybe nice, but useless ...
+2 #4 Paul Rees 2018-03-02 16:25
Quoting Mutley:
So, where is the guide?

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