FEATURE-Portugal fights wildfires with new tactics as heatwaves raise risk

* In the year In 2017, Killer Mega-Fire Launched Fire Extinguisher Updates * Now Government Prevention and Preparedness

* But experts say political demand is declining due to the hot fire in Joanna Gill

COIMBRA, Portugal, July 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A long main thoroughfare in rural Portugal, eucalyptus smells of the air. The smell may be pleasant – but it is a source of fear for the local residents. Eucalyptus heights – a fast-growing but highly flammable Australian tree – In 2017, a massive wildfire in central Portugal killed 64 people and injured more than 250 in the town of Pedrogao Grande.

After a catastrophic accident in modern Portuguese history, most of the victims were burned to death as they tried to escape the blaze on EN236-1, the national highway. Among the dry forests of Portugal, many arteries are dangerous.

Forest engineer Luis Paulo Pita said the car was the only way you didn’t want it to go before it was set on fire on a gravel road leading to a deep gravel road in Koimbra County. Prevention efforts. Firefighter: The modified engineer is part of a national drive that will connect civil servants, professionals and communities to reshape the fire management system in Portugal and prevent the recurrence of 2017.

Following the disaster, the government banned new eucalyptus plantations, announced land improvements, and invested in a variety of projects to protect endemic communities in central and northern Portugal. The country is experimenting with innovations to focus on fire prevention, especially fire prevention.

The work has garnered international acclaim and for help and training in other countries https://news.trust.org/item/20200116213309-lvfct/?source=package&id=81496651-b190-4711-b3bb-b2590df3a337 but in 2017 the country is another killer Residents say the lack of fire is the main reason for the mild weather – experts and officials warn that financial and political demand for fire protection is declining after five years.

Dozens of people were injured and hundreds more evacuated after a series of wildfires broke out in northern and central Portugal this month, and firefighters are expected to do so in the heat of Europe, which is expected to ignite further fires. Global climate change is causing much heat and drought, with wildfires expected to increase by 30 percent by 2050, making it increasingly difficult to put out fires, according to recent UN studies https://news.trust.org/item / 20220223065520-economy28 and It was published in the journal Nature.

In central Portugal, most residents know what to do to protect themselves from fire, such as knowing good escape routes and hiding in areas with water or small vegetation. But As memories of the disaster faded in 2017, he said, some defense efforts were failing.

“If you look at the houses, I can say you forgot about 2017. ‘Still in the woods,’ he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

As a new approach to firefighting, Portugal has set up an integrated fire brigade (AGIF) that will bring together security officials, police, the army and private forest development organizations to facilitate firefighting and fire prevention efforts. According to Tiago Olivera, the agency’s chief executive, more money has been spent on prevention than ever.

The AGIF is now urging communities to clear the land of garbage, create evacuation plans for high-risk villages, and issue permits to control debris. The agency taught forest engineers and firefighters how to create fire extinguishers in the form of ordered fires.

A.D. In 2021, the country recorded the lowest rural fires in a decade, according to the Portuguese Forest Fire Administration (SGIF). Despite such improvements, long-term abandonment of rural land has been a major challenge for young people in the country’s cities in search of opportunities.

About 30% of rural property in Portugal is now unclaimed, says Olivera. As a result of these challenges, he said, only 20% of AGIF’s fire prevention goals have been achieved, and despite growing knowledge and willingness, he has been able to take action.

He added that coronavirus and other competing government priorities meant “we have lost a lot of time and (and) political fire is not a priority.” Portugal’s efforts to reshape fire prevention show interest in California https://news.trust.org/item/20210818120318-esa76, other countries and regions fighting wildfires, including South Africa and Australia.

Firefighters from Austria and Germany are training in Portugal, and the country is set to host an international wildfire conference in 2023. From Fire https://news.trust.org/item/20210813164011-gznem.

But as global warming helps fuel wildfires, Olivera fears many governments will be busy fighting the fire to save money and better protection. “Pay for something and you have a firefighter, an airplane, a helicopter,” he lamented.

Although eucalyptus forests are said to have contributed to wildfires in Portugal in the first place, forest engineers such as Pita say land management is a major issue.

Residents in fire-prone areas complain that no one pays much attention to the forest unless it is burned. The region’s landscape is littered with abandoned farms, and government presence is limited. Joao Camargo, a non-profit Klimaximo environmentalist from Portugal, said he was “desperate for the state” and that rural areas were becoming unsuitable for policymakers as people flocked to the cities for economic and political reasons.

AGIF sees reversal of rural migration and revitalization of agriculture as key to cutting off fire hazards. “If you want to protect the landscape, you have to eat,” said Jose Gaspar, a civil engineer at Aimbra Agrarian School in Cimbra, at the nearby National Fire School.

Sheep and Goats Eat Brush https://news.trust.org/item/20170920002101-sng0p/?source=package&id=81496651-b190-4711-b3bb-b2590df3a337 – Who can clean exposed fire – Cheap and effective Fire protection . Rural pastoralists have received subsidies to manage their herds, subsidies are expected until 2024, at which time the effort must be self-sufficient, Gaspar said. Allowing local people to take responsibility for reducing fires on the ground will create a top-down fire prevention system, researchers say.

After the 2017 disaster, for example, the residents of Ferrari de Sao Joao – a village 24 km from Pedrogao Grande narrowly escaped the same fate – set out to cut down the eucalyptus-free reserve around their community. Government assistance. Forgotten forests

A.D. The scars from the 2017 wildfires are deepening in Pedrogao Grande, and locals say they feel abandoned by the government and their hopes have been dashed. For example, the ban on new eucalyptus before 2017 does not reduce the risk of previous eucalyptus farming, which means that the city is still surrounded by eucalyptus as before.

Cammargo, a campaigner who recently visited the area, said the fires facing the villagers were a continuing “life-threatening” one. Large fires are still possible in dry and hot conditions. Five years ago, Rui Rosenha volunteered to be a firefighter. One night, he and his fire brigade found him surrounded by fire after his car crashed.

The 44-year-old was badly burned and was in a coma for three months. He then spent another three months in hospital and underwent about 12 surgeries. One of the firefighters in the car – a childhood friend – also burned and died shortly afterwards in the hospital.

“After 2017, my life has completely changed,” said Rosinha, vice president of AVIPG. His injuries meant he had to retire from firefighting. At AVIPG, Rosinha is now advocating for more fire prevention measures – and the government believes it has not done enough.

“When there’s a fire, people evacuate,” he said by phone. But in terms of defense, there is a failure, ”he said. Originally published at https://news.trust.org/item/20220715150955-7zfy5/

(This story has not been edited by Davdiscor staff and is created from an automated feed.)

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