Thu, 15 Apr 2021

LISBON, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Portugal announced on Thursday that it will invest 156 million euros (188 million U.S. dollars) until 2030 in a "national strategy" for preventive civil protection against fires in forests, woods, and biodiverse pastures.

The investments are foreseen in the "National Action Program of the Integrated Management Plan for Rural Fires," which was approved at the Portuguese Council of Ministers.

The project includes five strategic objectives including measures of "knowledge, management, and risk reduction" as well as "mechanisms for better preparation of citizens and the system for occurrences."

"This is a path that involves government areas in close connection with local authorities and farmers to preparing both for mitigation and response in the event of a rural fire," said Minister of Internal Administration Eduardo Cabrita.

According to him, one of the investments will be the acquisition of 14 more aerial vehicles to fight rural fires by 2026, including helicopters and amphibious planes.

Cabrita explained at a press conference that the investments will be financed with European funds.

In 2020, Portugal registered the second-largest area affected by forest fires in the European Union, with at least 61,000 hectares burned, according to the European Forest Fire Information System.

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