"The Sintra mountain range is part of a classified protected region which is sensitive to the risk of forest fires, characterised by a high number of visitors. It is therefore essential to safeguard its protection, maintenance and conservation as objectives of public interest, global, national and municipal scope," explains the municipality chaired by Basilio Horta (PS), in a statement.
Thus, from 00:00 of 20 August (Saturday) and until at least 23:59 on Tuesday there will be prohibited access within the forest spaces (people and vehicles), as well as forest roads and rural paths that make up the forest perimeter of the Sintra mountains.
"Exempt from this ban are the vehicles of residents and companies based there, rescue vehicles, emergency vehicles and entities that are part of the Municipal Civil Protection System," says the municipality, indicating that the situation of interdiction will be reviewed every 12 hours.
In addition to the closure of the forest perimeter, the monuments that are located in forest areas will also remain closed, including the Park and National Palace of Pena, The Moorish Castle, Peninha Sanctuary, Capuchos Convent, Chalet and Garden of the Countess of Edla, Monserrate Park and Palace, Quinta da Regaleira.
Quinta da Ribafria, Parque da Liberdade, Matinha de Queluz, Parque Florestal da Piedade da Serra and Parque Florestal da Serra da Carregueira will also be closed.
The National Palace of Sintra Village and the National Palace of Queluz remain open during this period, without any change to their usual operation.
This is the second time this year that the Municipality of Sintra has decided to close the forest perimeter and the monuments that exist there due to the risk of fire.
The Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro, announced today that the mainland will be on alert between Sunday and Tuesday due to the risk of fires.
"We have taken the decision to determine the alert situation for days 21, 22 and 23 - Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, with re-evaluation on Monday evening, with a view to reassessing the need to maintain or change the alert situation. All this applies to the mainland", said the governor, after a meeting at the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC), in Carnaxide (Oeiras).
In a press conference, José Luís Carneiro also explained that the state of alert situation during this period presupposes "special limitations on the use of fire, the use of machinery and the use of agricultural work, as well as with regard to access to forest areas", stressing that the use of fire is indicated as the cause of 54 percent of occurrences, to which are added another 10 percent of various causes.