More than half of the municipality of Calheta has burned down

Firefighters in Calheta, where more than half of the municipality has burned down

More than half of the municipality of Calheta has burned down the fires that broke out on Wednesday and are still alight, the mayor of the municipality said yesterday, indicating that one person needs to be registered displaced. 70 square kilometres of the total area of116 has already burned down in the fires that have wreaked havoc over the past nine days.

“Numbers provided by Civil Protection indicate that 70 square kilometres of the municipality have already burned down. The municipality has 116 square kilometres, more than half has already burned”, said the local mayor, Carlos Teles, stressing that this is a situation that “is always evolving”.

In statements to the Lusa agency, around 22:00, the mayor specified that the fire that broke out on Wednesday, at 18:00, mainly affected the parishes of Ponta do Pargo, Fajã da Ovelha and Prazeres, “beyond the entire forest area”. According to Carlos Teles, the most affected urban area is located in the parish of Ponta do Pargo.

As for damage, so far there is a burned house and a homeless woman who lives in that house and is staying at a neighbour’s house tonight, he said. “Tomorrow [Friday], the Chamber’s technicians, together with Social Security, will work to find a solution for this lady”, he assured.

In a situation report made at 8:00 pm, in Funchal, the regional secretary of Health and Civil Protection, Pedro Ramos, said that a vacant house and another not inhabited had been destroyed by flames in the Calheta.

To the Lusa agency, the mayor of the municipality also said that “there were no injuries”, but the deaths of some domestic animals were reported.

During the afternoon, the fire had already forced the closure of a school and the health centre in the parish of Fajã da Ovelha.

Regarding the resources on site, the mayor of Calheta specified that seven fire brigades are mobilized on the ground, totalling 75 operational personnel, supported by 21 ground resources.

The only firefighting helicopter available in Madeira was helping during the day, but is no longer working due to lack of visibility, resuming work on Friday morning.The only firefighting helicopter available in Madeira was helping during the day, but is no longer working due to lack of visibility, resuming work on Friday morning. p>

Saying that the parish of Ponta do Pargo is naturally “very windy”, the mayor expects it to be a night of hard work on the ground and said that the operatives “are exhausted”.

In the 2021 Census, the municipality of Calheta recorded 10,915 inhabitants and a population density of 98 residents per square kilometre.

The fire initially broke out on Wednesday, around 6:00 pm, in the parish of Prazeres, in the west of the island of Madeira, and spread during the night to the adjacent parish of Fajã da Ovelha and, later, to the parishes of Ponta do Pargo and Achadas da Cruz, this one in the municipality of Porto Moniz, where it was plowing more intensely in the early evening.

Another fire broke out yesterday in the municipality of Câmara de Lobos and continues to mobilize resources this evening.

To help fight these fires, the Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro, announced in the afternoon that resources will be sent to Madeira.

At 20:00, regional secretary Pedro Ramos announced that a team of 55 members of the special fire force sent by the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority will arrive in the region on Friday. fair morning.

According to the Regional Civil Protection Service of Madeira, since October 4th, several fires have been recorded in the municipalities of Ribeira Brava, Ponta do Sol, Câmara de Lobos and Calheta, all located in the west of the island.

The Madeira archipelago has been under an orange weather warning since last week due to the persistence of high maximum temperatures, which exceed 30 degrees daily. The situation will last until 6pm on Saturday.

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