Collection points old and new were pressed into service and restaurants and supermarkets provided snacks and cooked food. She blinked through the smoke at eucalyptus trees flying by, burning, in the winds of the biggest flames she had ever seen. Sign up now for a chance to win €100 of Amazon vouchers! This fire, as fire scientist Craig Clements would later conclude, had grown too hot. None of this would be possible without charitable donations, however. Before the 1980s fires in mainland Portugal had never reached 10,000 ha of burned area in a single occurrence, according to available data on forest fires. There are other similar websites, however this is the most reliable, factual and up to date page. It is a truism of the relationship between civilization and forests that where one rises, the other will fall back. Scopri le migliori foto stock e immagini editoriali di attualità di Forest Fires In Portugal su Getty Images. newsdesk@theportugalnews.com, © 2020 The Portugal News - Established 1977 But she had never seen any like it: As the flames bore down on them faster than they could run, with their truck on fire and their radios melted, she immediately understood that she was going to die. That question would drive him on to a doctorate and a series of papers on fire science with researchers at universities like MIT. Raging Portugal forest fires kill dozens. We live with the consequences of what happened—the people we lost—every day.”. It was, he would say later, a repeat of Chile, a replay of the “nightmare scenario” that unfolds when cold Atlantic winds meet a hot Mediterranean summer. The page also provides a moderated forum for people to share local knowledge, relieving pressure on the phone lines to the emergency services and helping to prevent onlookers from gathering in unsafe areas. Both fire scientists believe that the best strategy lies in a full-time approach to fire defense—unlike the bombeiros’ seasonal approach—with firefighters building and maintaining fire lines throughout the year so they will be prepared to battle fires when they break out, as well as keeping development out of established fire lanes. Not now. The Portuguese Civil Protection Agency has … All rights reserved. Lisbon: Portugal has declared three days of national mourning after a forest fire triggered by thunderstorms in the north of the country killed more than 60 people, many of them fleeing in their cars. Portugal Forest Fires Analysis Forest fires have become a much more severe problem in many regions of the world as a result of climate change and human activities. The following year, a pyrocumulonimbus like Portugal’s October 2017 fires collapsed in a long waterfall over flames spreading from an electrical leak in Southern California—where unchecked suburban development has crowded into the traditional fire lanes of the chaparral—killing 90 and nearly wiping the town of Paradise, California off the map. It was high summer in 2017, and they had just crossed into the outer bands of the worst firestorm to ever hit Portugal, a presage for a new age of mega-fire that would soon stalk across landscapes from Spain to Australia. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite shows dozens of active fires detected by the sensor marked in red. To keep energy levels up we provided cooked chickens and other meats as well as hand held food, such as energy bars and biscuits. Wildfires broke out in th​e northern and central parts o​f Portugal in 2010, following abnormal​ly hot weather. Image copyright EPA. Out every Friday with the headlines and lead stories from the next days edition. Their cause of death, like 65 others trapped and killed that June day—the bulk of them on roads like Highway 236—was “carbonization.” Many were found, she notes, wrapped around their loved ones, their muscles tightened in their last moments by the heat of the flame. Aug 16, 2017. It was that inferno that the terrified couple in the BMW had been fleeing—and that Rodrigues and her companions were now trapped in. She does not want to leave, but with a limited local economy, a young daughter, and a great risk of fire, she is not sure how she can stay. They staggered toward the BMW, just a few meters away, but were forced back by a heat that scorched their skin through their fireproof clothes. It becomes easy, she says, to abandon land that others are already abandoning. Many drove directly into a death trap. Hundreds of panicked weekenders and tourists, unaccustomed to the regular fires of the backcountry, fled down narrow, overgrown roads, heading for the safety of the coast. But he had underestimated how quickly things were changing. Later, fire scientists like Craig Clements, of San Jose State University, would hypothesize that the plume had become so big that it reached the troposphere; on the ground, theory gave way to practicality. Rodrigues was not a professional—like three generations of her male relatives, she was a member of the bombeiros, the volunteer firefighting corps that since the 1950s has served as first line of fire defense for the towns of the rugged, hardscrabble, limestone hills of the Portuguese interior. And the rural population, says Filipa Rodrigues, the former bombeira, is weaker and more demoralized than it has ever been. The total a… The new kind of mega-fire that broke out in the highlands of central Portugal on June 17, 2017, was the perfect firestorm brewed when an increasingly unstable atmosphere meets a landscape poised to burn. For bombeira Filipa Rodrigues, that pattern, which geographers call the “forest transition”—the return of forests to abandoned cropland – could be laid out in one statistic: When her father volunteered at the station in the 1980s, “we could count on 20 professionals.” Now they had seven. That June afternoon, Rodrigues and the rest of her crew of bombeiros had just killed a small blaze with their high-pressure hoses. They were exceedingly lucky. By the fifth generation, Castellnou says, “we began to lose” to fires that outflanked and outmatched them. Nine people have been killed in forest fires in Portugal, which continue to grow in the dry, hot conditions existing across the country. Then in January 2017, the European Commission sent him to Chile, where Castellnou saw something categorically worse than he had ever seen before: the overture to the new age of megafire. “We have never seen something of this size, never in Chile's history,” President Michele Bachelet said, visiting the ashes of a territory about the size of Delaware that within two days had been reduced to a moonscape—killing 11 people and creating thousands of refugees. The Phoenecian traders and artisans who sailed up the Ebro River at the end of the Bronze Age found stands of primeval hardwoods perfect for making the charcoal needed to forge high-quality swords, as well as the axes that fed the forges. +351 282 341 100 All content and design is copyright Anglopress Lda and The News Group of Newspapers, Bonfires: What you need to know in Portugal, Claim for 1.8 ME in favour of the State for fire in Monchique, Algarve voted Best Beach Destination in the world, Christmas and New Year lockdown rules explained, New state of emergency eases travel restrictions, Christmas and New Year lockdown measures to be announced, Depression Ernest affecting Portugal until Tuesday. The reason, Oliveira says, was this: In the 1950s, synthetic materials made from petroleum replaced plant and animal fiber, and chemical solvents and fertilizers made from petroleum and inorganic chemicals replaced forest products like pitch, peat, or pine needles, Factory farming replaced meat from hunting or domestic animals— cows, sheep, pigs goats—pastured in the forest. Again we enlisted our trusted volunteers from all over the Algarve. Its ability to spread is directly, even exponentially, proportional to the fuel available to it, and to how energized and reactive the atmosphere is. The fire in Vila de Rei and Mação has burnt more than 9,500 hectares of forest, about half of this year’s burned area, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS). The fate of those trapped inside the flames would spread trauma across the highlands and the wider Portuguese consciousness, particularly the stories and forensic evidence from the deadly roadblocks on National Highway 236, quickly dubbed The Highway of Death. Instead of slowing the fire, the oncoming dew boiled off the flame front like water off the rocks of a sauna, sending a pulse of superheated steam almost to the borders of space. Portugal’s feral forests may hold the secret, Photograph by Patricia de Melo Moreira, AFP/Getty Images, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/12/how-to-live-with-mega-fires-portugal-forests-may-hold-secret.html, a risk that is moving north into the unprepared lands. When the Portuguese burst outward in the early modern area, every single wooden ship sailing back and forth between Lisbon and the Estado da India or Captaincy of Bahia, carrying the wealth, slaves, and soldiers of the Portuguese Empire, required 2,000 oaks and an equivalent number of pines. Image caption Many residents were left stranded as the fire blocked roads. NASA image: Fires plague Portugal. These dynamics, Castellnou and Oliveira say, have been seen across the world in the past three years, as sixth-generation fires have shown up in Mediterranean climates everywhere—meaning ecosystems from the Americas to Australia—wherever cold ocean winds blow across sun-kissed, dry mountains bursting with fire-loving plants. After roping in a couple of friends and new volunteers, the Alerta page, as we know it today, was launched.Having seen the bombeiros working at close quarters during the fire of 2017 in Monchique, we identified ways to help them by collecting and delivering items such as food snacks, water and toiletries thus keeping them supplied on a daily basis. Jun 19, 2017. Portugal, like most of southern Europe, is prone to forest fires in the dry summer months. This is not as sexy as buying new helicopters, he admits ruefully, and lacks the rural romance of the bombeiros. We now fundraise all year round so that during the summer we can deliver regular supplies of bottled water and energy bars to stock the “fire boxes” the bombeiros carry on every engine, with 24hrs worth of snack food. Aug 07, 2018. Our volunteers would ring the bombeiros every morning, for the latest shopping list and have it all at Silves for lunchtime. From the Bronze Age up until the 1950s, Oliveira notes, civilization and industry rested on the resources provided by forests. In Proença-a-Nova, tech company Novatech has moved in from Lisbon, and dozens of young workers are now getting married and moving back onto country houses where they mow grass and tend orchards. A forest fire is the product of a powerful, nonlinear chemical reaction, the release of energy trapped in the carbon bonds of trees. The firefighters fell back to a crossroads, skin bubbling and lungs blistered, their truck and radios destroyed, the fire approaching at a fast jog. Most of her friends live in Lisbon, their family lands growing over behind them. The number of large forest fires in Portugal is increasing, and t… LISBON, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Portugal has suffered about 925 million euros ($1.05 billion) in damages from a spate of forest fires that killed 15 people, the Interior Ministry said on Friday. One of the few who had was fire scientist Marc Castellnou, in Catalunya, an autonomous region in neighboring Spain. As the chief fire scientist for Catalunya’s force of 5,000 professional firefighters, Castellnou had, like Portuguese fire chief Oliveira, become disturbed by the appearance of fires of unprecedented fury and destructive power. Iberian firefighters I spoke to describe facing fire tornadoes, or the dreaded mushroom of the pyrocumulus, in which a plume of hot air rises into the atmosphere and collapses back down, feeding the fire that started it. Portugal forest fire: 12 survive by hiding in a water tank June 19, 2017 World News Empire 0 Comment. Our brave volunteers were prepared to put themselves into danger to rescue a variety of animals, from cats and dogs to horses and donkeys. As Alerta grew in membership and experience, the role of the Facebook page began to evolve into something more structured and useful. We also created another branch of Alerta to liaise between the people who were being evacuated and those offering accommodation, meaning that many otherwise homeless families had a bed for the night. We now also liaise with other organisations, such as afpop and were able to support their highly successful ‘shock’ appeal to buy defibrillators. As rural people withdrew from the land that once filled their basic needs, the trees returned, and with them came fire. In the event of a large fire, we supplement the food provided by the government for the emergency teams and even purchase forest fire uniforms to help to replace those burnt and damaged. Portugal has one of the highest forest fire risk rankings in Europe. In 2018, 83 died in Greek fires whipped up by a similar long downburst during a summer when forest fires burned, for the first time in history, in every European country. The country' meteorology agency, IPMA, said the risk of fire was elevated in most of the country, with temperatures of 37 degrees Celsius (99 F) in some regions. Usually night offers a respite from fire. At around nightfall they caught, and within minutes 8 square kilometers of woodland, packed with fleeing vacationers, burst into flame. Twelve people survived one of Portugal’s deadliest fires by seeking refuge in a water tank after access to their village was cut off by the blaze. Scegli tra immagini premium su Forest Fires In Portugal della migliore qualità. Which is to say: three fast-growing tree species, packed with essential oils, each of which had evolved to spread with wildfire. Portugal forest fire: Survivor Gareth Roberts on escaping the flames A forest fire in central Portugal has killed more than 60 people. The four-day forest fire in central Portugal has been put under control according to the country’s National Authority for Civil Protection. Our team posts alerts and tracks the progress of fires, enabling advanced warning to be given but also providing reassurance for concerned members. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- A series of fires ignited in the valleys around the town of Pedrógão Grande, fueled by winds that blew down off a strange and unseasonal thunderstorm like a bellows, fanning the flames into three separate, enormous flame fronts. This year, however, things have been a little different for all of us and many of our normal fundraising events, such as organising the car parking for the Silves Medieval festival, have been cancelled. It’s also a warning of what the future holds for Mediterranean-style ecosystems from Turkey and Spain to Greece and California as climate change drives increasingly longer dry periods. We also bought medical supplies, on a large scale, including burn creams, pain killers, Ibuprofen creams and tablets, eye wash, dressings, bandages, and even ladies sanitary products. Every day she watches the eucalyptus grow, unchecked and illegal, bare meters from the house where they sleep. But the fire problem will not be solved, Oliveira says, without the evolution of a new kind of rural landscape, where people value the forest once again and defend the land from fire, because they use it again, be it for pasturing sheep and goats, or beekeeping, tourism, or small-scale biomass energy generation. France, Greece, Italy and Spain were also affected by forest fires, however to a somewhat lesser extent. Aug 09, 2016. One surreal impact of the generations of neglect of the highlands by the central government is that Lisbon doesn’t know who owns the bulk of the land in the interior, which makes establishing land policy virtually impossible, though a federal survey is ongoing. Keeping the brave firefighters hydrated was obviously vitally important so there was an almost inexhaustible need for bottled water and energy drinks, which were provided in specially purchased cool boxes. This is happening in a few settlements. Meanwhile the core problems—the abandoned countryside, the seasonal, volunteer firefighters, and the land base filling up with fire-loving trees—continued to fester, and by the summer of 2017, after more than a decade of aggressive termination of small fires by the bombeiros, the interior was stocked with fuel, waiting for a spark. Many acres of Europe’s most southern woodlands were destroyed, especially in Portugal. 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