A third heat wave is coming to Portugal on Saturday, August 20, and will last until September. Minister Jose Luis Carneiro warns that the high temperatures increase the fire risk.
Carneiro says that September is expected to be “50% to 60% hotter than previous years and 40% drier”. He also says that the fire period could last as long as October.
The Directorate‑General of Health of Portugal has published the following protection measures against the heat:
- People should stay in cold and ventilated spaces
- Increase water consumption and/or drink natural fruit juices without sugar
- Avoid alcoholic drinks
- Avoid direct sun exposure, particularly between 11 AM and 5 PM
- Use loose clothing that covers most of the body, large hats, and sunglasses
- Avoid physical activity outside
- Special attention to vulnerable groups such as the elderly, pregnant people, etc.
- Children under six months old should not face direct or indirect sun exposure
Back in July, Portugal saw its hottest summer yet as temperatures reached 47ºC in some areas in the country.
This third heat wave worries the Portuguese Institution of the Ocean and the Atmosphere. The President, Jorge Miguel Miranda says that preventive action is necessary or the fire situation will get more complex. He even gave examples of the fires in Australia and California.
Earlier this week, the fire in Serra da Estrela destroyed 16% of the Natural Park. Miranda says that although every fire is different, “we are living in a complicated monument in our climate history.”