84 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 21.10.2016

October 23, 2016 at 11:16 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We had Fireman Sa. as guest again.  He gave us a report about the recent fires on Aug 5 – 6. He said that the conditions, with Leste coming over from Africa and with a wind speed of 75/85 km were a “perfect storm” situation. The Leste brought fire sparks down from the rim above the city.

In these situations, the firemen are on high alert and make rounds but they cannot prevent that fires start or are stated. E-was of the opinion that the Pastores who had protested about the restriction of their activity, started the fires above Funchal but Sa. said that their areas are more above S. Antonio, not S. Roque. The burning tires made the situation look very bad, there were also oil tanks wit in the tire storage facility which blew up. Old houses with damaged roofs are in special danger from flying sparks.

Sa. said that in these situations, people call for more firemen and equipment, but this would not help, he is in favor of prevention.  1 fire spot can cause 85 other fires in 1 hour so vigilance is essential. The firemen in Funchal work well together, and even when they are out for a coffee and see a fire at any time, they are proactive and send someone up there to investigate. This approach is not shared by other fire brigades outside of Funchal.  He is also in favor of shared fire ponds in the communities. The communities have to come together for this.

Eucalyptus is a bad tree and should be eliminated. The disadvantage with this tree is that, even after a fire, the wood can still be used by the pulp factories to produce paper so the Paper Lobby has no problem with burning Eucalyptus forests.

Forest management is also very bad on the mainland. Gr. said that the north of Portugal is covered in Eucalyptus. After a fire, reforestation would be the ideal tool to prevent future fires but this not promoted by the Government. It was not done around S. Bras when D & S had to abandon their house twice because of the fire danger.

Sa. said that 75% of the land is in private hands, the owners are responsible for clearing out the forests. They often cannot be identified as the land registry is weak so the Government cannot apply fines for neglect.

The population used to go into the forests for firewood, nowadays, this is not needed anymore – it’s probably forbidden – this is another point why forest fires are increasing. It is even difficult now to find personnel to clean out forests; the job is not interesting and pays too little.

In the mainland there is a Fire Mafia. Government owned planes and helicopters are mysteriously out of order with maintenance problems and the Government has to hire private equipment at a high cost for fire fighting – good business for certain companies.

Sa. also said that tests with helicopters must be done in Madeira in the summer, not in winter when realistic conditions do not exist. Then we could see if fire fighting could be done on the island fir helicopters (with sweet water) or not.

Sa. said that the Proteccao Civil takes charge in such situation and they mess it up for publicity stunts, saying that everything is under control when it isn’t.

In regards to the funds for the people and companies affected by the Fire (V.) the Government should come through with decisions and hopefully , funds by mid-November

The Bread Project:

E. discovered that he can obtain the NAKU bread bags from a known shop for free, they receive plenty from a supplier. He is still looking for a place to bake his bread. He has a certain place in mind but if it doesn’t work, he is willing to invest to get a bakery for himself – no risk – no gain. An-  could get him a contact to a specific  Hotel group, maybe he could also bake there at night

He brought us a delicious sample of bread – mmh!

The  Escola staff needs to get back to us to start working on their Blog and fundraising efforts. Ma. said that she would have more time as of mid-October.

 

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