Many countries inspired by Portugal to fight fires

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[EN VIDÉO] 20 years of fires around the world boiled down to 30 seconds
This is what the earth looks like in the midst of fire. This is not an apocalyptic scenario, but a summary of the scale of fires that have erupted around the world over the past two decades. Twenty years of wildfires monitored from the very high altitude by the Terra satellite, which NASA has condensed into a 30-second animation.

After the dramatic 2017 wildfires that killed 64 people, the fires caused Portugal He became an example of firefighting for other European firefighters. Five years after the dramatic fires that killed 64 people in Pedrógão Grande, Portugal has decided to revolutionize the way it anticipates the dangers of Fire. Most of the victims died cars You are trying to escape from the disaster, it is too late. ‘Too late’ already, which is why the government is prioritizing Prevent Before everything. If the smell eucalyptus It is very pleasant in the summer near the Portuguese forests, these trees are above all major sources of fire.

The fast-growing eucalyptus tree should not be part of the country’s landscape: it is native to Australia Wood highly flammable. The leaves form a flammable carpet when they fall, and the same is true for the bark that breaks off. eucalyptus oil Also responsible for the nickname of these trees in Australia: “petroleum trees”.

A complete overhaul of the Portuguese nature

Cultivation of eucalyptus is now forbidden, and the government has invested in a complete overhaul of the landscape of central and northern Portugal. The idea is to make these lands less flammable. In this part of Europe, an estimated 30% Moreover, the number of potential wildfires by 2050, due to Global Warming. Because if it is currently difficult to fight the rise in temperatures and drought, it is possible to make nature less sensitive to fire by choosing certain types, and to better prepare the population for this danger: this includes training the municipalities at risk, with information provided to all residents, such as the choice of evacuation routes. During the 2017 disaster, the victims had escaped through a narrow road, the worst in the area, which is now called the “Death Road”.

The Portugal It created the Fire Management Agency (Agif) that aims to deal with the causes of fires, not just fighting fires already in progress. Rural areas face a growing problem: young people are leaving the countryside and leaving their family farms, leaving the spaces unattended. Among the preventative measures suggested to keep these areas at risk are: systematically cutting down all eucalyptus trees near villages and replanting native species, restoring their place toAgriculture In these deserted and thus uncontrolled areas, but also to develop environmental grazing, especially with goats and sheep on the ground to be cleared, a quick and inexpensive concept. Preventive measures of particular importance for southwestern France: the Landes forest is full of highly flammable trees, sea ​​pineand they are not, at the base, endemic from this region.

This new fire management policy has caught the attention of other highly concerned countries, such as its European neighbors including France, as well as California, South Africa and Australia. While many foreign firefighters come to train in Portugal, the country has been chosen to host the International Conference on Forest Fires in 2023.

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