Portugal — Figures released this week have shown that the total amount of land scorched in forest fires between January 1st and September 15th this year has diminished to almost half when compared to the same period last year.
This was confirmed by provisional data from the National Forestry Authority (AFN), published this week.
It stated that this year, during the afore-mentioned period, 10,105 hectares of land were burnt in fires, 3,315 hectares of which were in populated areas, the remaining 6,790 hectares being countryside.
That figure is a 43.6 per cent reduction from the 17,947 hectares that were incinerated last year during the same period.
But despite the quantity of land having diminished the number of fires that occurred this year grew slightly in comparison to previous years.
According to the AFN, Guard was the district with most forest fire incidents, with 222 outbreaks being documented.
It concluded that during the first four months of 2008 the average number of fires registered was close to averages of the past ten years. During the following months that average was slightly lower, though there are discrepancies concerning the months of June and August.