In a press statement, the two associations underlined that the wildfire that burnt across Odemira on Saturday has affected Mediterranean forests next to the Monchique range and are destroying part of the Natura Network 2000 special conservation zone, which includes the special bird protection area.
Worried about the impact of the fire on forest ecosystems and on the effectiveness of environmental services, Quercus and Acréscimo pointed out that the fire had also affected vast swathes of the eucalyptus forests of the Navigator company, who request they be compensated for the damages.
“It’s fundamental to reduce the risk of spreading fire due to burning items being thrown great distances, from which secondary fires can start, and thus harden the control and extinction of the wildfire as is being seen in various areas, namely Odemira, Aljezur and Monchique,” the statement reads.
All in all, they defend the reconversion of old eucalyptus forests, planted where once stood Mediterranean forest, “betting on a more resilient species to fire, which is essential for a structural response.”
“Keeping eucalyptus reveals a lack of strategic vision by compromising the land’s future and the rural economy itself by risking vulnerability to fires, losing environmental services and affecting tourism in the Alentejo coast and Algarve because of it,” they added.
The rural wildfire raged through a woodlands and pine forest area in the Baiona zone, São Teotónio parish, on Saturday afternoon, and has already entered the Algarve at times, having surrounded the centre of Odeceixe on Monday afternoon.
Up until Tuesday night, the fire had already eaten through 10 thousand acres and destroyed at least two houses and a rural tourism unit, according to the governments of Odemira, Monchique and Aljezur.
According to Civil Protection, the fire was conquered on Wednesday at 10:15am, but there are several spots which still require attention, mostly on the southern front, with many reignitions being predicted.