More than 5,3000 hectares affected by fire.

According to the website of the European Information System for Forest Fire (European Forest Fire Information System – EFFIS), part of the European Commission, the fires in Madeira between 19 and 24 July consumed 5339 hectares whilst in the Algarve (between 18 and 22 July) 26,839 hectares burned.

The worst damage was in Ponta do Pargo where 3242 hectares burned area, with 1770 in Gaula and 327 at Ribeira Brava.

These figures are slightly at odds with the provisional report from the Regional Directorate of Forestry which identified 5643 hectares of area burned during the fires last week. Their final survey will be published tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “More than 5,3000 hectares affected by fire.”

  1. Hello,
    I am a German tourist who visited the isle for the first time this year with my wife and my two kids. We were staying in a beautiful self-catering house overlooking Arco de Calheta and surroundings. On Tuesday July 17 th, we went north and crossed the fire in Ponto da Pargo when it just began. Two days later we almost got lost in the fire while driving on the via rapida in the Santa Cruz area, obviously at the wrong time; it was horrible, but even more horrible when watching the poor people standing on the roofs of their houses helplessly awaiting destiny for their homes. While enjoying our holidays before the fires, on Saturday, 14 th of July, we first encountered a strange behaviour of some local people down in Arco da Calheta (which I think is representative at least to the rural areas). While relaxing outdoors suddenly a strange scent of smoke appeared and looking down there was a big fire down in the valley and some smaller ones more closer to us. It seems to be a fashion to burn unwanted things, for instance to clean the garden, just right on the spot, or on the unworked land of the neighbour. There is a lot of smoke in the air, and noone complains, for sometime it will be everyone`s time. Even after the island fire disaster, people had no problems to make a fire right beneath totally dry pine trees or near dried-out cane, and every time you asked, it was “thumbs up” or “nao problema”. Sometimes, “nao problema” forced the bombeiros to come (who did an amazing job on the isle !!!). I am really wondering, if the situation is clear to Madeiran people (who, besides where the friendliest persons we ever met in Portugal, and we have been to several parts of Portugal during the last years). It seems to be obvious, that a totally naive behaviour as to fire and the long-known problem of uncultivated land produce this kind of disaster. It is totally certain, that this kind of disaster will return, either in this August or in the years to come, and sooner or later it will dramatically affect tourism, perhaps the most important source of income. So, can anyone tell me, why noone seems to be willing to handle this problem in earnest ? I have the deep impression, that all what we read of local politicians in the papers in the end amounts to nothing else but “don`t worry, we will have a wetter year next time”. And every next year will bring “the same procedure as last year…”
    Hartmut (Germany)

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  2. We have just returned to the UK after 6 years in Madeira. A wonderful island, the people are kind and friendly. BUT they have no regard for their environment or the animals which in the end was one of the reasons we chose to leave. We got tired of collecting rubbish all the time and watching people deliberately set fires on the hillsides and then phoning the fire service to wait and hour whilst the fires got out of control. The people in the rural areas are in the main uneducated and have always done things the way they have but if they go on like this there will be no Madeira to visit. As the heavy rains will wash the top soil of and it will become a like the Canary islands. Sad! they do not listen to “estrangeiros” so it is up to the local educated people and the catholic church to make a difference. They will listen to the priest. Come on church how about doing something to change things.

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