In a question addressed to the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, through parliament, the PAN party wants to clarify whether “the Government has planned exceptional measures for the prevention and combat of rural fires in this year 2022, taking into account that it is a particularly dry year” and, if so, which ones?

The PAN party also asks the Government if “it intends to reassess the investment foreseen in the Recovery and Resilience Plan for the execution of primary structuring networks of fuel management bands at a national level to be applied until 2025” and, regarding land cleaning, if deadlines were set.

“Given the successive suspicions of the occurrence of fires originating from very high and high voltage lines, what measures has been taken by the Government to ensure compliance with the legislation in this matter and to safeguard effective protection in relation to this type of threat?”

Pointing out that the “severe and extreme drought to which Portugal has been subject” has resulted in “the increase in the occurrence of fires in atypical periods as happened this year in the months of January and February”, the PAN stresses that “only in these first two months of the year, there were 1,741 fires in Portugal that consumed more than 7,000 hectares of bush, agricultural land and forest”.

The PAN deputies point out that these data constitute “a new maximum since 2012” and argue that, as in “years of severe drought” the risk of “large fires increases significantly, it is important to understand what actions are planned to prevent these occurrences and guarantee the safety of populations”.

“Some experts have warned that, given the phenomenon of climate change, it makes no sense to maintain the current prevention model, concentrating the availability of resources in the so-called most critical months, arguing that firefighting resources must be available throughout the year”.