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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to temperatures in excess of 30 degs and very high winds, the country suffered its highest number of fires yesterday, with over 500 reported in one day. To date 28 people have lost their lives but this is expected to rise. Many of those lives were lost as people were asleep and this morning house to house searches are being carried out searching for other victims.

Yet another tragedy that could have been lessened if it were not for yet another failure of the SIRESP emergency communications network costing 40M€ p/a. It has been out of action for over 12 hours now meaning that it was not possible to warn people of the approaching fires.

Four months on from Pedrógão Grande and the powers that be don't seem to have learnt much.
 

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The BS report handed to the President doesn't make it any easier for anyone either.... It's filled with endless excuses & pretty much fails to even address the issue that if the legal firebreak limits had been observed the fires would only have burned woodland instead of taking lives, livelihoods & homes.

The Government need to get the army in to create & maintain the firebreaks whether the owners of commercial woodland like it or not & they also need to start prosecuting those owners not only for breaching the fire break laws but also for manslaughter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can you believe that the majority of observation posts were closed and extra resources were stood down on 30 September, as that is considered to be the end of the fire season! Apparently climate change is of no concern. It has been suggested somewhere, that instead of sitting on their backsides in the barracks, soldiers should be out manning the observation posts and patrolling forest areas as an early warning system. Perhaps while they are doing that they could take up TM's suggestion to clean the land.

Now 32 dead including a 1 month old and 56 injured including 20 firefighters. Seven more folk missing. Such a sad day.
 

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Here in Andalucía, the embargoes on bonfires and fires burning olive prunings which would normally have expired on 30th September, have been extended UFN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here in Andalucía, the embargoes on bonfires and fires burning olive prunings which would normally have expired on 30th September, have been extended UFN.
That's good news and I understand now that the fire season here has now been extended to 31 October.

Now 35 dead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A friend sent me this link today which sums up the situation perfectly:

Portugal wildfires: Why are they so deadly? - BBC News
That piece was published by the BBC just after the Pedrógão Grande disaster. As I said in my OP, the powers that be don't seem to have learnt a thing since then. In fact, Prime Minister Costa went on record yesterday as saying that you have to expect this kind of thing from time to time!

Once again the Proteção Civil have been caught out and shown to be totally unfit for purpose.

There were some heartbreaking radio transmissions broadcast on SIC this morning. These were recorded from transmissions between firefighters on the ground the Proteção Civil controllers. The bombeiros were begging for more resources to be deployed and being told there is nobody else. They asked for roads to be cut and were told there were no GNR available.

The death total from the weekend's fires stands at 36 and that alone is more than the previous worst year of 25 deaths in 1966. Then we must not forget the 64 that perished back in June. What a terrible, terrible year this has been and please let lessons be learned from this.
 

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I've seen several pieces that claim the N236 should have been closed but as I see it that road is the only escape route for umpteen villages on either side of it & to close that road would have been to condemn every single person that did manage to get out to death.

I firmly believe the fault lies with the fact that trees were planted right up to the road rather than to the 10m firebreak limit (incidentally that refers to the canopy of the tree not the trunk).

It should also be noted that not a year has gone by (at least) in the 6 years I've been here that those same trees haven't killed people when their cars have slid off the road into the trees when the first rains come. ......... If that fire break limit had been observed most would have survived.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You'll like this one TM...

You'll like this one TM...

The country's largest and oldest pine forest has been devastated when fire tore through the area which had not been cleaned in years. Do you want to have a guess who owns the land and was responsible for keeping it clean. Yup! The government!

What hope is there for them enforcing laws that they cannot observe themselves? :frusty:
 
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