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Posted by portugalpress on August 10, 2018

Over 27,000 hectares devastated, at least 50 properties and primary homes destroyed, 41 people injured (22 of them firefighters), one seriously injured case still in hospital and a steaming perimeter of over 100 kms, Monchique’s monster blaze has finally been declared “dominated”.

But the next few days will see authorities heavily in force, ensuring reignitions (which are expected) do not spiral out of control.

This morning, a surveillance plane will be touring the blackened wasteland that stretches into four other boroughs to check on hot spots.

The last of the hundreds of people evacuated will be given the green-light to return to their homes, and lives will slowly start to adjust to the new normality of survival in a landscape of black and ash, with public utilities still badly affected.

Mayor Rui André has made a provisionary estimate of damages caused by this appalling blaze, suggesting they run to over €10 million.

For now, there are no details of compensation funding that may follow.

Meantime, temperatures are starting to rise again, meaning heightened risks of fires will follow.

The Algarve is holding its breath.

Elsewhere, the website shows the Monchique area suddenly ‘free of fire’ while incidents are ongoing in scrubland areas around Portimão, Silves and Algoz.

National command of Civil Protection warns: “It is not the moment to relax”.

TSF radio and other sources are reporting that the last seven days have put Portugal into Europe’s ‘fire disaster record books’ for 2018: so far, no other country has suffered so much damage this year, despite the very non-habitual blazes in Sweden and UK.

And for anyone reading this overseas, our firefighters now are “desperate for new uniforms”: the ones they have been using are soaked through and they have no replacements.

Support group Associação Alerta de Incéndio Florestal is putting out an appeal with the Florian charity in UK, adding that immediate requirements now have changed from food and water, to the need for new tshirts and underwear (male and female), all sizes.