Fires Destroy 5,000 Hectares of Forests in Portugal

August 5, 2008

Fires destroy 5,000 hectares of forests in Portugal

LISBON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) — Fires have destroyed 5,000 hectares of forests in Portugal from January to July, state secretary of Fishing and Rural Development Ascenso Simoes said Monday.

Simoes said the situation is positive compared with previous years, “but there is still a lot to do.”

A Forest Regional Office is about to be set up Algarve in Southern Portugal, one of the most affected areas by the fires, Simoes said, adding that five such offices will be set up nationwide to more effectively fight fires.

On Monday, some 60 firefighters with 17 vehicles and three helicopters fought with a fire that broke out in a vegetation zone of Chaves, in the north of the country.

A team of Intervention, Protection and Aid from the Republican National Guard have been sent to the site in the hope of a prompt control of the situation.

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