The mayor of Pedrógão Grande, in the district of Leiria, has said that he is “very concerned” about the possible lack of water to fight fires due to the drought that is affecting the country.
“I’m very worried. We don’t know if the water levels in the [Cabril] reservoir will be restored and it won’t be long before we have summer,” António Lopes told Lusa agency.
The mayor said he feared that “there will not be a robust response in case of need in fire-fighting interventions”, given that “the reservoir is 40% below its capacity”.
“We are doing everything possible, within our limited budget, to act in the fuel management ranges, in the creation of integrated landscape management areas and in the ‘Aldeia Segura’ project”, declared the mayor, who admitted that “the plans of fire safety could be compromised”.
The mayor of Pedrógão Grande warned that, in case of very hot and dry weather, “if there is not an immediate and robust reaction of the air resources in the fight against fires, it will be very complicated and can jeopardise these investments”, because “Terrestrial means may not be enough”.
“We do not want to revisit a situation that we experienced a few years ago”, he declared, alluding to the fires of June 2017, which started in Pedrógão Grande and spread to neighboring municipalities, causing 66 deaths and more than 250 injuries, seven of which were serious. The fires also destroyed 500 houses, 261 of which were permanent homes, and 50 businesses.