More than 1,000 operatives fight fire in Odemira


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Lisbon, 09 Aug 2023 (Lusa) – The rural fire that broke out this Saturday in Odemira, Beja district, but then reached the Algarve, continued to mobilize, by 00:30 today, more than 1.000 operational, according to data from Civil Protection.

According to the website of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC), at 00:30 today they fought the fire 1072 operational, supported by 363 vehicles.

The fire, which broke out in São Teotónio, municipality of Odemira, has already reached 10 thousand hectares and kept early Tuesday evening two active fronts, forcing authorities to cover a perimeter of 50 kilometers, according to data released by Civil Protection, a press conference held by 19:30.

Still according to the latest ‘briefing’, the northern front, in Odemira (Alentejo district of Beja), did not present serious problems, while the southern front presented two more worrying situations, at the intersection with the Algarve municipalities of Aljezur and Monchique (Faro district).

With the change of wind quadrant registered in the late afternoon, according to the regional commander of Emergency and Civil Protection of the Algarve, Vitor Vaz Pinto, “the southern sector will be more demanding, also because the orography does not allow to place the air means where they are needed”.

Even so, and although the authorities recognize that there are variables that cannot be controlled, an increase in humidity is expected, which will be favorable to the fight.

According to information this afternoon from the municipality of Aljezur, at least one house burned, in addition to small annexes and other buildings, and in Odemira the owner of a rural tourism told Lusa that the main structure of the accommodation was destroyed.

Vítor Vaz Pinto updated in the briefing the number of people displaced by the GNR in a preventive manner to 1,459 – many of whom were taken to the defined reception points – and said that 36 people, mostly civil protection agents, received assistance from the National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM) on the ground.

Eight other people – five firefighters and three civilians – received hospital care, but did not have serious conditions.

Earlier in the afternoon, the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC) had indicated that 20 villages and a campsite (meanwhile reopened, without damage) were evacuated these days and during Tuesday afternoon, according to GNR information, only the village of Delfeira, in the municipality of Odemira, was partially evacuated.

One of the authorities’ biggest concerns is to prevent the fire from entering the vast Monchique mountain range, which has been hit hard by other fires in previous years, especially in 2018.

The other active fire in mainland Portugal, by 00:30 today, with a significant number of means, broke out this Tuesday night in São João de Rei, municipality of Póvoa de Lanhoso, Viana do Castelo district, and mobilized at that time 71 operational, supported by 19 vehicles.

A source from the Ave Sub-regional Command told Lusa, at 00:30, that the fire in the bush area had two active fronts and that the means were positioned on the spot in the fight.

Also according to the ANEPC website, the fire that broke out on Monday in Arrabal, Leiria municipality, and in the resolution phase since Tuesday morning, mobilized by 00:30 101 operational and 37 vehicles.

The fire that broke out on Tuesday in Arcos, Vila do Conde municipality, Porto district, in resolution since Tuesday morning, mobilized 70 operational, supported by 22 vehicles.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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