“I chaired the meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires (AGIF). Although attention [is] focused on the situation in Ukraine and the fight against the pandemic [Covid-19], there are other problems in the country for which we must continue to work and provide answers”, António Costa wrote on Twitter.
In his message, written after the meeting that took place at the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, in Lisbon, the leader of the executive warns that “the risk of fire persists”.
“Taking into account the drought situation that the country is going through, we made a situation report regarding the first months of the year in terms of rural fires, and we designed the critical actions and priority initiatives to prepare for the coming months”, added the Prime Minister.
The president of AGIF, Tiago Oliveira, said that the next fire season will “depend a lot on the amount of rain” that falls until May, considering that the drought situation has improved.
“The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere [IPMA] was present at the meeting and updated the drought projection having revised the risk down, that is, the situation is not as worrying as it was a week ago,” he said.
“The fire campaign will depend a lot on the amount of rain that will occur until the end of May or June. The fears that it could be a very difficult thing are over, but not resolved, that is, the danger has decreased, but it still exists”, he said.
Tiago Oliveira considered that there was a great concern, taking into account the fires and the area consumed in the first two months of the year, but the rain forecast for March will allow to recover “a little the levels of water, humidity and water in the soil”.
“We have to be vigilant. At this meeting, an overview was made, taking into account the profile and dynamics of a drier climatological year. We are preparing for the worst, but always hoping for the best,” he maintained.