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Monchique Mayor hits out at governments' lack of forest management planning

FiremonchiquealightRui André, the Monchique mayor who has led from the front throughout the current devastating fire, said that the municipality has been abandoned by government.

André attributed poor forest management as the cause for the prolongation of the fire that has been running for five days and has devastated an important area of ​​the Monchique economy.

"We all know that poor forest management is at the root of these great fires and the difficulty of fighting them, although every year we speak about the same thing, but with little action," Rui André told the Lusa news agency.

For the mayor, Monchique this year was designated as one of the municipalities with the greatest risk of fire, yet little was done in terms of forest management apart from the actions taken by the municipality.

According to Rui André, "it is important to complement the effort in the areas of combat and surveillance with what has never got off paper and has just been talk, which is structural planning and prevention."

"Cleaning is important, but we have to do another kind of planning, both in terms of forest management and the creation of mosaics with species that can prevent and delay fire," he said.

For the mayor, the fire that has lasted five days is hugely damaging to the economy of a county, whose mostly elderly population, has the forest as its main resource."

"The fires of 2003 and 2004 were devastating for the economy and this year, the same scenario is repeated, without being able to put a stop to the fire that, inexplicably, lasted five days," said the mayor who still does not understand why the fire continues, a situation he calls "abnormal."

"At some point it seems that the firefighting resources would be sufficient, but in the meantime a series of questions have been raised concerning the inoperability of resources that did not work, for one reason or another - a situation for which I can find no explanation," he said.

Rui André added that many quality houses have been destroyed by the fire, "a number that is not yet quantified, although forecasts point to more than two dozen."

"I hope for the support of the government, obviously, because the Council does not have the capacity by itself to return to normality and to give the population new breath to carry on with their lives," concluded the mayor.

 

Safe Communities Portugal has the following official information for readers:

Monchique fire protection advice from the government:
http://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com/monchique-fire-protection-and-advice-from-government/

and download this .pdf file 'Safe Village Safe People - Protecting yourself against rural fires'

http://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Safe-Village-Safe-People-Protecting-yourself-against-rural-fires-brochure-English.pdf

Comments  

0 #19 graziano & ursula 2018-08-12 18:35
Quoting nogin the nog:
hmm
The Mayor of Monchique is right about the lack of leadership and lack of resources provided to tackle this situation. If you are profiting from growing trees you should be obliged legally to provide fire breaks in the tree lines and should a fire break out you should also be obliged to help fund the fire brigade. Basically if you want to make money out of growing trees you should be made responsible for all that may follow..

This is the wisest comment I read here - as simple as that: who is (part of?) the cause must be part of the solution according to his proportional guilt. The same should apply to the countries causing the refugee's tsunami: they should pay for that and take proportionally to their guilt refugees into their land.
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-2 #18 Monchique Resident 2018-08-12 08:19
Eucalyptus wild seeds itself everywhere. Therefore local farmers now have hectares of it on their land. They enjoy the money they get from selling the wood, but they do nothing to manage their land and contain the spread.
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+4 #17 nogin the nog 2018-08-09 03:05
hmm
The Mayor of Monchique is right about the lack of leadership and lack of resources provided to tackle this situation. If you are profiting from growing trees you should be obliged legally to provide fire breaks in the tree lines and should a fire break out you should also be obliged to help fund the fire brigade. Basically if you want to make money out of growing trees you should be made responsible for all that may follow..
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+2 #16 AL 2018-08-08 21:02
Quoting Jack Reacher:
Why are the Portuguese incapable to vote out corrupt governments that cant do anything right.
And who's voted for Treason "I lost all the files linking MPs to child abuse & they made me leader" May? And who was it that voted 17 million times to leave the EU?
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-1 #15 Jack Reacher 2018-08-08 18:50
Quoting dw:
Quoting mj1:
is a pity the American legal system does not operate here, if an American lawyer sued for hundreds of millions in compensation for those who died, I would suspect the govt would work so so quickly to sort things out

The current fire in California that covers 457 square miles and is not expected to be contained until September. Our Imperial masters over there seem to be just as incompetent as anyone.

Dw why do you have to compare this fire with that fire? Fires here occur all over the country year after year and nothing gets done about it. You don't need to defend the government all the time. If you fail to see that there is a fundamental problem with the whole scenario then I am at a lost. I'm not an ostrich.
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+3 #14 Black October 2018-08-08 17:30
In N.S.W. Australia, some years back, the worst bushfire on record was known as the Black October bushfire, many new rules and regulations were put in place similar to the ideas put forward above, in Australia, we can't escape the eucalyptus, their seeds need fire to germinate, these trees shed leaves 24/7 and develop eucalypt oil in their leaves, the timber
from the trees harden over time, try to put a nail into a 100 year old log, it's impossible, when they start to burn there's no putting out the fire, just contain it and let it burn,, in Portugal they need trees that are local species not imported trees that destroy the environment, where are The Judeans Peoples Front when you need them...
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+1 #13 Carl B 2018-08-08 16:55
It is a shame politicians are blaming when priority should be putting fire out. The facts and investigations can happen later but surely right now they need to protect people and animals and land. We are here on vacation and is difficult to find updates on the fires themselves rather than political positioning.
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+6 #12 dw 2018-08-08 16:35
Quoting mj1:
is a pity the American legal system does not operate here, if an American lawyer sued for hundreds of millions in compensation for those who died, I would suspect the govt would work so so quickly to sort things out

The current fire in California that covers 457 square miles and is not expected to be contained until September. Our Imperial masters over there seem to be just as incompetent as anyone.
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+4 #11 dw 2018-08-08 16:30
Quoting Jack Reacher:
Why are the Portuguese incapable to vote out corrupt governments that cant do anything right.

For the same reason as every other corrupt western country: the system only gives them a choice between equally corrupt parties all of which are owned by big business interests.

Quoting Jack Reacher:
If one man can make Uk leave the EU..there must be a way to make changes here.

In or out of the EU the UK still has a corrupt government.

Quoting Dave Williams:
This has to be an argument for installing another Salazar for another 50 years to bang heads together.

Funny how keen some anglo-saxons are for other countries to have murderous dictators in charge.
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+1 #10 Dennis.P 2018-08-08 14:30
mj1 suggesting citizens could sue the Government was attempted by a Portuguese citizen about 7 years ago. This is when we learnt that the Portuguese State only owned in its name a dilapidated, unused, old Lisbon court house that some oik had forgotten to camouflage from the IMF and EU lender states like Finland wanting something tangible to anchor their loans on.
A start would be to sue the Municipals, amongst whose property holdings almost all own valuable old town mansion houses in Lisbon and Porto; used for subsidised "jollies" by their staff and special friends. Firstly though, take out fully comprehensive all risks fire, pet, vehicle and life insurance because that Municipal's Mafia are "gonna come after you" for trying to spoil their weekends away.
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