The ANEPC is authorised to go ahead with the hiring of 100 more firefighting teams, which means 500 more men, in order to reinforce the human resources and allow this replacement of means to maintain the vigour and effectiveness that has existed so far," said José Luís Carneiro, stressing that 90% of fires have been put out within 90 minutes.

At a press conference held at the ANEPC headquarters in Carnaxide (Oeiras), the minister also stressed the anticipation of payments to fire brigades, amounting to more than one million euros.

"We decided to anticipate the payments to the fire brigades that have made the effort to integrate the Special Device for Fighting Rural Fires (DECIR)," said José Luís Carneiro.

"This anticipation effort will be made by ANEPC, with a view to ensuring that the humanitarian associations that have fire brigades integrated in DECIR maintain the decision and operational conditions that are essential for this phase that begins after the period we have had from the beginning of July until 19 August," he said.

The Minister of Internal Administration was speaking to journalists after attending the meeting of the National Operational Coordination Center of the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection, accompanied by the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, and at the end of a meeting by videoconference with members of various governmental areas in which it was decided to declare a state of alert between Sunday and Tuesday.

Regarding the measures to strengthen the fire departments, José Luís Carneiro explained that the hiring of more elements serves mainly to strengthen human resources of humanitarian associations that incorporate the largest number of elements in DECIR.

On the other hand, the minister also recognised a recent difficulty in mobilising members of volunteer fire departments working in the public or private sectors.

To address these constraints, during the state of alert these firefighters may be available for firefighting without the need for an authorisation from their employer.

According to the governor, the measure will "streamline the ability to mobilise these resources to the firefighters' device.