Edition 1445
14 October 2017
Edition: 1445

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Fires consume 20,000ha of protected areas so far this year - ICNF

by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 07-10-2017 23:13:00 · 0 Comments

Fires have destroyed more than 20,000 hectares of forest in Portugal's protected areas so far this year, according to a report released by the Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation (ICNF).

Fires consume 20,000ha of protected areas so far this year - ICNF

 

According to the report, the tally to the end of September was 20,883 hectares, including 72% of the Natural Monument of the Portas de Ródão, in the Tagus valley, and more than half the Protected Landscape of the Gardunha Range, in north-central Portugal.

 

The ICNF also highlights the devastation in the Douro International Natural Park, on the border with Spain, as accounting for the largest single swathe burned among protected areas, at 7,392 hectares, about 8.5% of the park's total area.

 

Protected areas cover some 712,500 hectares of which 523,000 are managed as forest - 55,000 in national forests and 468,000 in forest perimeters.

 

The ICNF report also notes that 51% of the Tua Valley Natural Park burned (at 1,265 hectares), as well as 4.5% of the Azibo Reservoir Protected Landscape (at 149 hectares), in Macedo de Cavaleiros and Bragança, and 4.4% of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park (at 3,962 hectares).

 

Based on data from the European Union system that tracks forest fires and images from the Sentinel and Landsat satellites, it is estimated that, to the end of September, 13,657 of land managed as forest burned - about 2.6% of the total.

 

According to the INCP, the only national forest affected was Covilhã, where almost 128 hectares are believed to have burned - about 32.3% of the national forest there.

 

Overall, forest fires this year have consumed more than 215,000 - the largest amount in the last decade, according to the ICNF. The biggest fires - of over 100 hectares - accounted for almost 90% of that total.

 

The worst years ever in terms of area burned were 2003 (at 425,839 hectares) and 2005 (at 339,

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Edition 1445
14 October 2017
Edition: 1445

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter