The report of the lessons learned in the Serra da Estrela fire, which occurred in August 2022, indicated that 45 corrective actions are needed, with a set of priority measures, which should be applied already this year.
The vast majority (81%) of the proposed actions are related to organizational aspects, such as interoperability, leadership, procedures and doctrine.
In addition to 12 measures for immediate application by entities fighting rural fires, this report by the National Subcommittee on Lessons Learned (SCNLA) points to two other major areas of improvement: the use of knowledge already existing in the system on a regional scale, and on days of aggravated meteorology, namely in fire behaviour skills and specific techniques for rural fire management; and the reinforcement of specialized training at a higher level, according to the National Plan for the Qualification of agents of the Integrated Rural Fire Management System (SGIFR).
The National Subcommittee on Lessons Learned (SCNLA) of the Integrated Management System of Rural Fires (SGIFR), is chaired by the Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires (AGIF) and includes representatives of the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC), Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF), Judicial Police (PJ), National Republican Guard (GNR), Armed Forces, Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) and the League of Firefighters of Portugal (LBP). This subcommittee works continuously and applies the methodology of lessons learned adapted from the NATO standard, constructively and in a perspective of continuous improvement.
In addition to the production of this report and its conclusions, the SCNLA is analysing other relevant events of 2022, such as the fires of Murça and Ourém, as well as the information contained in the full report of the group of experts appointed by the Government, delivered this week, and also in the reports made by international experts.
Summary of existing reports:
- Relatório Síntese das Lições Aprendidas – Análise Incêndios Rurais 2022. This study was prepared within the scope of the National Subcommittee of Lessons Appendix of the SGIFR, with the participation of AGIF, ANEPC, EMGFA, GNR, ICNF, IPMA, LBP and the PJ. It identifies 45 corrective measures to be implemented in the System by the responsible entities, in an Action Program, with the indication of deadlines for implementation, namely 2023 and 2024.
- Relatório do Grupo de Peritos dos Incêndios Rurais 2022. It recommends a balance of effort between the device that protects people and the one that protects the forest, which requires specialized and trained resources. Recommends accelerating the execution of the projects of the National Action Program (valuing and caring) and greater operational speed in the execution of the FICC/FGC/mosaics fuel interruption range, controlled fire and a qualified command for complex events (Command, Planning, Logistics and Supervision), plus an adjustment of the Safe Village/Safe People Programs. It also refers to the judicious use of air assets and fire as suppression tools (given the relevance of costs and potential effectiveness) and the recording and management of information (location of land and air assets). At the post-fire level, it recommends reducing bureaucracy in the response and proposes the constitution of an emergency stabilization team to recover burned areas.
- O relatório norte-americano (2022 Portugal Wildfires – Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Review). This report acknowledges the work carried out by national and local authorities (assessments of burned areas, treatments of slopes and canals, and road rehabilitation work, among others), but detects delays in implementation for administrative reasons. Identifies emergency measures to reduce risk and mitigate post-fire impacts – (Burned Area Emergency Response).