In the Facebook group “Alerta de Incêndio Florestal/Forest Fire Alert!”(Algarve and lower Alentejo) more specific information and explanation were shared about the new law for fire prevention in Portugal that land owners have to implement until March 15, 2018 – because there are many questions now about what to do and when and how, where to get further information etc. Thank you very much for the summary!

Cleaning of rural spaces, the law was amended slightly on Wednesday to allow for certain trees:

– Trees such as corks, olives, carob, and fruit trees, do not need to be cleared, but do need to have land cleared around them and branches no lower the 50cm. if you have cork oaks on your land that need attention you need to contact ICNF (Instituto da Conservacao da Natureza e das Florestals), as corks are protected, eucalyptus and pines (the type that caterpillars like) have to be cleared within the 50m perimeter.
– Grass has to be not more than 20cm high, unless it is being grown for animals, hay and straw.
– Wood stores and animal feed/bedding stores, need to be at least 10m from houses.
– If you have telegraph poles on your land there must be a 7m clearance around them.
– If you have electric or telephone wires across your property, that is impeding the trimming of tree’s you need to contact EDP/meo or the Camara.
– Vegetation next to a road, should be 10m away – if the road is not yours, contact the Camara (road sides are cleared as a rule, every 5 yrs)
– Bamboo/Canas should be cut to 50cm, but if it is on a riverbank, the ICNF needs to be consulted.
– Garden rubbish should be burned in small fires and usual rules apply about contacting bombeiros, or your local camara .
– Trees near a building in a garden must have a 5m clearance from the last leaf not the trunk of the tree.
– The roof of your house and guttering should be cleaned of debris.

If you have absent neighbors, contact the GNR.
If it is obvious that you are clearing your land but not finished by the 15th March, you will be issued with a notice and a time line to clear it by. Any doubts or worries contact your local GNR.

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