“ The area [burned] from what we have identified has about 1,100 hectares, with an estimated perimeter of 20 kilometres”, said the second regional commander of Emergency and Civil Protection of Alentejo, José Guilherme Marcos, at a press conference in Sabóia, to make the status of the fire. According to the official, the competent authorities will investigate the final burned area, but, according to forecasts, "this fire had a potential for damage that could reach about 6,000 hectares."
Due to the area estimated to have burned, all in the municipality of Odemira, district of Beja, “you can see the intensity of the fire”, the “excellent performance” and “the difficulty that men and women had to overcome to keep the fire under control”, he stressed. However, he stressed, "operators will keep all the consolidation of the fire perimeter", as "there is still a lot of work ahead.”
According to José Guilherme Marcos, Regional Road 266 and Municipal Road 1160 will remain closed to civilian vehicles, for safety reasons and to allow the circulation of rescue vehicles. On 19 August “the appearance of some humidity helped the operators to consolidate the fire perimeter, which is large, quite extensive”, he indicated. Therefore, “we are going to keep the operational in the field and we will only classify the fire as resolved when we are all sure that it will not reactivate”, he reinforced.
From the burned area of which there is a survey, the fire raged "all over the municipality of Odemira", said the commander, recalling that on 18 August "it was expected to pass to the district of Faro, which fortunately did not happen". "And it didn't happen because we had not only the commitment of these firefighters but the good coordination of all entities in the Alentejo and Algarve regions, who, in partnership, came together so that this fire would not cause any further damage, neither to property or to goods, but above all to human lives”, he stressed.
However, “unfortunately”, there is sadly a civilian wounded, with severe burns in 40 percent of the body and who is hospitalised at Faro Hospital. At the operational level, only “mild injuries, with small sprains, exhaustion, small falls”.
José Guilherme Marcos appealed to the population to “not engage in risky behaviour”, which could cause fires, and to comply with all the rules and guidelines “issued by the various entities”, such as the prohibition of the use of fire.