13.07.2020. Portugal bans smoking in all forest areas in the country, with penalties of up to 60,000 euros, in order to prevent forest fires.
The ban will last 92 days, within the “critical period” for forest fires that began on July 1 and will end on September 30 as part of the Forest Fire Defence System.
During the entire period, special measures and actions will be applied to prevent forest fires when exceptional weather conditions require it. The Portuguese authorities, both state and municipal, make very clear to their citizens the motto: “Civil protection starts with you and yours”.
Forest fires are a growing threat throughout Europe, particularly in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece. This is because there are more fire-prone areas, a longer forest casualty season and, in general, larger and more destructive fires. Consequently, conventional means of action on forest fires are insufficient and finding new solutions is a key priority.
In all rural forest areas, it is prohibited to “make any kind of fire” and to “carry out controlled burns for the renewal of grazing or the elimination of stubble, as well as the use of fire in rural and forest areas to burn agricultural and forest residues”.
It will not be permitted to “drive tractors, machinery and heavy transport vehicles that do not have one or two 6-kilogram fire extinguishers (depending on the weight of the machinery, which is less than or more than 10 tons), spark arresting systems and flame covers on the exhaust pipes or chimneys”.
Those who violate the regulations during the “critical period” can be fined from 140 to 5,000 euros when the violation is committed by individuals and from 800 to 60,000 for legal entities. It warns that “in case of causing a fire, it can incur in a forest fire crime” according to Law 56 of November 15, 2011 of the Portuguese Republic.