portugal forest fires 2020

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In the fight against forest and bush fires in central Portugal, the authorities have now mobilized around 800 firefighters and 250 vehicles. Read more: Wildfires: Can we adapt to live with them? On top of that, the government cannot force owners to do most things with their forests. It has become the most important tree species in Portugal and now accounts for around 25% of all trees in the county. The water courses had been neglected for decades. A well-managed spruce forest, for example, not only produces valuable wood, but also resin, which can bring in a lot of money from the processing industry. By NATASHA DONN At the same time, more European countries suffered from large forest fires in 2018 than ever before, including in … Read more: Portuguese youth activists sue 33 countries over climate change. What Portugal’s hellish wildfires can tell us about forest futures All it took was a few sparks to create what developed into a fireball from hell. Forest fires dynamics in Portugal in the last four decades are presented (the fire regime and the corresponding losses) as well as the corresponding socioeconomic, environmental and policy drivers. And the numbers support this assumption. Portuguese youth activists sue 33 countries over climate change. In many places, however, they are powerless against the walls of flame. Learn about deforestation rates and other land use practices, forest fires, forest communities, biodiversity and much more. Send Facebook Twitter reddit EMail Facebook Messenger Web Whatsapp Web Telegram linkedin. Portugal wildfires: Huge operation tackles central Portugal blazes … Francisco Ferreira from the environmental protection organization ZERO agrees. By. The wildfires ravaging America's West Coast have sent thousands fleeing and will leave behind destruction, uncertainty and huge bills. It supplies much of the raw material for Portugal's important pulp industry. Contact The Intermunicipal Community of Leiria Region (CIMRL) will buy two drones to prevent fires and environmental crimes, ... 2020. Wildfires: Can we adapt to live with them? Leo appeared out of the gloom just as Ana shouted that she couldn’t wait any longer. Regional development plans would have to be rewritten and the land use plans in the municipalities and districts adapted to the new situation. A planned special tax for eucalyptus plantations was never introduced. But perhaps what is even more impressive is the almost universal resolve to regroup and start again – but maybe next time, do it much better. © 2020 Deutsche Welle | The burnt area in 2017 was the second largest on record, due in particular to unprecedented forest fires in Portugal, whereas the burnt area in 2018 was the lowest on record. Germany's domestic intelligence agency has identified an "intensified escalation potential" within Querdenker movement that includes coronavirus skeptics. Dror, for instance, seems haunted by the fact that he saved his children’s computers and Lego, but forgot his youngest son’s beloved stuffed animal ‘Wolfie’. Luis Lopez, a former firefighter, knows the dangers that eucalyptus monocultures bring. https://www.gofundme.com/f/from-green-hill-to-black-wasteland, PCP Algarve warns: “Forests need a better plan”. Portugal fires MAP: Tourists hotspots hit by wildfires amid … We had just had a magical year…”. "We try to talk to the forest owners directly, to convince them to join forces in producer cooperatives and to better manage the forest areas," said Lopes from the forest fire agency. "As long as we do not define which forests we want where, the problem cannot be solved," said forest expert Castro Rego. At the same time, the government decided to ban the planting of eucalyptus trees. The 20th century and on-going changes in land use (afforestation and rural abandonment) and climate are described. A series of four initial deadly wildfires erupted across central This was not a sustainable forest. This year has seen the worst forest fires since then. "Nevertheless, the pulp industry continues to rely on large monocultures, and eucalyptus is once again growing on the burned forest areas," Ferreira noted. Before the restrictions of Covid-19, he and his Dutch wife ran a trailer selling falafels at Lagos’ bio-market. We have to keep going. Portugal has this year the second largest area affected by forest fires in the EU, with at least 61,000 hectares burnt, damaging people, soil, water resources and public health, according to the association Acréscimo. Forested areas require public investment, say the communists, along with extreme care and attention to ensure indigenous species are maintained – while agricultural production has to be encouraged, and not devalued to the point that forests fall into abandonment. In the middle of it all are poorly developed industrial and commercial areas, which are extremely fire-prone due to their location. Still supremely traumatised from gathering up chickens in laundry baskets, stuffing dogs into cars and chasing terrified cats into makeshift boxes, the survivors of this fire are aware they have actually been incredibly lucky. Neighbours like Sonja and Dave Hemingway ran a ‘get-away-from-it-all’ retreat only recently featured in the glossy Dutch tourist guide “Off the Beaten Track”. 1,000 firefighters, 15 aircraft battle wildfire in Portugal AVELAR, Portugal (AP) — Raging forest fires in central Portugal killed at least 43 people, many of them trapped in their carsas flames swept over a road, in what Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Sunday called “the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known in years.” That was the result of Portugal's 2017 summer disaster. Just before lunchtime last Friday, a man strimming scrubland in Vilarinha (a hamlet on the rural Costa Vicentina midway between Sagres and Aljezur) inadvertently started the worst forest fire the coastal Algarve has seen in years. New plantations may only be created if old, less productive ones are replanted with other trees. So far, around 61,000 hectares have burned and four firefighters have died. And 97% of that land is privately owned, 85% of it in plots measuring less than five hectares (12 acres). warns Francisco Ferreira from the environmental protection group ZERO. My husband and I just bought our plane tickets for 2 weeks in Portugal (Aug 29 to Sept 11). These are people who chose to bring their dreams to Portugal and become part of a colourful patchwork of expatriate residents that has fed into the local economy. When I got everything out, he was waiting at a friend’s. Baby Ryleigh was born in the ‘treehouse’. “I thought ‘don’t panic’… I let it roll back and then tried it again…”. "The flying sparks can spread forest fires for miles," explained Lopes. Dror used to produce honey (the hives have all been lost). “No one could live in that landscape right now. He used to be a fire chief and knows how dangerous burning eucalyptus plantations can be. Half a million hectares of charred forest and 121 dead. “I was thinking ‘what if the cars stop’, like those cars in the fires of Pedrógão Grande…”. A ‘monster’ that took with it the hopes, dreams and years of inspired manual labour of roughly 15 ‘alternative families’. Many laws and regulations are still in the planning stage and those that have already been enacted will take time before they actually take effect. Legal notice | 25th June 2020. LUSA. Despite coronavirus fears, authorities are planning to reopen hotels and beaches by mid-June. Last August, an outbreak of fires across Portugal killed four people, including three on the island of Madeira, and destroyed huge areas of forest. Just before lunchtime last Friday, a man strimming scrubland in Vilarinha (a hamlet on the rural Costa Vicentina midway between … American surfer Robin Goldsmid makes and shapes surf boards, and had only just completed his workshop to start a new “hopefully much more lucrative phase” of his life, while Will Brawn, 33, from UK had constructed a fairytale house of wood around a tree for German wife Laura and their new baby. We have to find solutions.”, Wildfire Support for Families Algarve: Many small-scale farmers have replaced slow-growing native tree species with the must faster-growing Australian species because trees can be harvested after just 10 years, promising quick profits. There were not enough varieties of trees, not enough varieties of bushes. “Even the lavatory paper was still perfect,” marveled Tineke who admits to lurching from a state of semi-normality to uncontrollable tears. https://www.gofundme.com/f/wildfire-support-for-families-algarve, Vegan-Hills fire relief fundraiser by Vegoa: The disruption to the economy should not be underestimated. The fires in Central Portugal and the Algarve this week, which resulted in the declaration of the first major incidents of this year, demonstrate the ongoing battle to prevent and tackle fires in the country. But the pain is still incredibly raw. It is not an easy task. Then the bus she bundled him into stalled as she tried to climb out of the blackening valley. The Robert Koch Institute chief said people in Germany may face tighter lockdown restrictions. Portugal fires MAP: 30 injured as 8,500 hectares burnt in major … A wildfire is a fire in any area of combustible vegetation that occurs in the wilderness or rural area. Despite being episodic events, large wildfires account for the bulk of burned area in Spain and Portugal. | Mobile version. Why Portugal wildfires and not Portugal forest fires? Source: EU Commission, 'Forest fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa ... 2020… Now, there is little left of it but twisted rubble and charcoal. However, Portugal is still a long way from more biodiversity and the reintroduction of forests that mix trees in an ecologically meaningful way. According to Ferreira, there is still a lot to do. Forestry expert Castro Rego, a professor at the University of Lisbon and chairman of a commission to advise parliament on forest fires, says, "While a lot has improved in fighting forest fires, everything else is still in a bad way. He is responsible for the country's central region, a part of the country where the problems are the worst. Explore the state of forests worldwide by analyzing tree cover change on GFW’s interactive global forest map using satellite data. Due to an exodus from rural areas, arable land is becoming smaller and the forests are getting bigger. After all, the forest owners are aware of the problems. "But such a complex situation cannot be resolved in a few days. Welcome To Portugal Wildfires. Will is adamant that they will be back, but not just yet. Sounds easy, but it is not. A label. Every year forests burn in Portugal, especially in the thinly populated north and middle of the country, where huge swaths of land have been turned over to eucalyptus monocultures. "And the lobbies for other tree species, which can also generate profit, should be stronger." “It was all so beautiful. In a statement released on Tuesday, the Algarve branch of the communist party warned that, in spite of all the warning signs (meaning, major wildfires), “profound structural measures to reinforce fire prevention” in the Algarve are still sorely lacking. It’s not healthy.”. Said Israeli father-of-two Dror Bar Yehuda, who not so long ago fled his home set back from the Gaza Strip with just four suitcases, “something terrible happened here. All measures in these areas have so far been slow to start and have hardly had any effect," he complained to DW. Answer 1 of 2: How have the forest fire & smoke impacted your Portugal trips in recent summers? You can find more information in our data protection declaration. Portugal: Centre area councils to buy two drones to spot forest fires, environmental crimes. Also attending were expected to be survivors of the most recent Monchique blaze, which destroyed dozens of homes – a number of owners of which later learnt to their dismay that they too fell into the bracket of ‘illegal’ by dint of family histories in which attention to bureaucracy hadn’t been sufficient. As a result of climate change and rising temperatures, the risk of forest fires grows accordingly. Not only did no-one die, the outpouring of help and support from the wider community has been humbling. Now is the time for support – hence a massive list of initiatives that have started (see box). Firefighters battle wildfire in Portugal, 32 people hurt - ABC News Climatic conditions over a time scale of seasons to years determine the am… At the same time, climate change is making Portugal drier and hotter, which could mean that the great disaster of 2017 could repeat itself at any time. Their two-storey brick-built home was totally destroyed, but, amazingly, their outside compost toilet was untouched. 2020 forest fires globally could be worse than 2019, WWF warns Posted on 27 August 2020 Deforestation is one of the leading causes of fires in the Amazon and many tropical and sub-tropical countries. He just said: ‘Papa, did you save Wolfie?’ I felt so bad…”, But like the others Dror is trying to focus on moving forwards. natasha.donn@algarveresident.com, © Portugal Resident Open Media 2019 - Todos os direitos reservados |, Families lose everything as Algarve suffers first major fire of 2020, Portugal’s border police force faces “dismantling” following beating to death of Ukrainian national, Algarve company launches device that it claims “kills Covid-19”, Christmas village brings seasonal smiles to Silves, Portugal intent on ‘rolling out red carpet’ to Brits after Brexit no matter what EU rules imply, https://www.gofundme.com/f/wildfire-support-for-families-algarve, https://www.gofundme.com/f/veganhills-fire-relief-fundraiser?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet, https://www.gofundme.com/f/wederopbouw-eco-community, https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-others-rebuild-in-the-algarve, https://getfunded.nl/campagne/10982-help-de-algarve?fbclid=IwAR3KEhwV7IJHhUzCpcCFaq6aZYWdQFGAyeMtXxOfczxjgRr5iD070FUZiyg, https://www.gofundme.com/f/from-green-hill-to-black-wasteland. The first problem is the uncontrolled sprawl of eucalyptus, which has been troubling Portugal for decades. Lopes can understand forest owners who need the income. Around a third of Portugal is overgrown with forests; if you also include brushland, it is even more than two-thirds. By this time, the sky was black, the noise from the advancing wall of flames absolutely terrifying. About 60 forest fires broke out across the country overnight, with close to 1,700 firefighters battling them across Portugal. These exports account for 1.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP), money that the country urgently needs. The latest major fire broke out on Saturday in the area around Oleiros in … We need a plan”. The forest fire deaths were the biggest in memory in Portugal, which saw 25 Portuguese soldiers die fighting wildfires in 1966. What burned at the time were mainly eucalyptus plantations and unchecked pine forests in the thinly populated and often inaccessible inland areas and in the north of the country. Prime Minister Antonio Costa promised far-reaching changes to the country's fire prevention, firefighting and forestry policies. Not only would such forests slow down the spread of forest fires, they could often even regenerate themselves after fires. Laura’s friend Ana Dold (again 33) insisted her friend and baby went on ahead while she rounded up the stragglers, including a cat named Leo. A jump in coronavirus infections in Germany is "worrying," the head of the country's disease control agency said. But many forests are simply too small to receive subsidies for new plantings. We left our place this time with two. With about 30 million tourists visiting Portugal every year, the sector is of huge importance for jobs and economic growth. The government is now offering them subsidies to plant other less dangerous, but slow-growing tree species. We use cookies to improve our service for you. Exactly as Israeli homeowner Dror Bar Yehuda told us when recounting his story, the PCP/Algarve has warned “we need new policies for the forest and rural areas”. “We left Israel with four suitcases. Portugal Forest fire: Death toll rises to 72 as PM calls it the … They all got out: seven dogs, all the chickens, and Leo the cat. “It’s not easy to look at the photographs,” admits Laura, also 33. Happily she is much too young to have suffered any lasting trauma due to its loss and the mad scramble to escape a wall of flames that bulldozed through over 2,200 hectares, though there were moments when her mother feared they weren’t going to make it out alive. It wasn't just one problem that needed to be solved, but many, all of which were interrelated. Now the government is fighting back. https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-others-rebuild-in-the-algarve, Help de Algarve: Rural tourism businesses that currently have no clients have taken survivors in, offering food, clothing and toiletries; friends have flung open their doors, spare rooms and quickly assembled sofa beds; support groups have sprung up and crowdfunding is underway in at least three languages. We will stay in Sintra, Lagos, Lisbon, Douro Valley and Obidos. As the Resident went to press on Wednesday, survivors were due to hold a meeting to discuss ideas. Citing the devastating blazes of 2018 in Monchique (which survivors say didn’t in fact have the intensity of this latest fire), the statement stresses that very little in terms of improved policies to prevent such tragedies has changed. At the time, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said such an event could happen again. https://getfunded.nl/campagne/10982-help-de-algarve?fbclid=IwAR3KEhwV7IJHhUzCpcCFaq6aZYWdQFGAyeMtXxOfczxjgRr5iD070FUZiyg, From Green Hill to Black Wasteland: These wildfires, with burned areas > 500 hectares, can be characterized by the climate and weather conditions that cause them. Events, large wildfires account for the country 's fire prevention, firefighting and policies...: can we adapt to live with them much more are poorly industrial. State of semi-normality to uncontrollable tears she bundled him into stalled as she tried to climb of! Wilderness or rural area of bushes be solved, but slow-growing tree species, which also! Ensured that many forest areas are cleaned regularly, thus reducing the risk of fires never introduced Spain Portugal! Changes to the country where the problems are the worst afforestation and rural abandonment ) and climate are described other! 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