Portugal’s Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) downplayed the total area of land that had been consumed in last summer’s fires when the European Commission issued a figure of 560,000 hectares.
In 2017, the ICNF stated that 442,000 hectares had been consumed, a figure that has now been restated, showing Portugal’s assessment was far lower than the stark reality.
Portugal’s latest official statistics show that the 2017 fires consumed 100,000 additional hectares of territory than had first been stated. No explanation has been issued to explain the variance.
The new figure is based on satellite analysis in October last year, after all fires were out and the imagery could be studied with confidence.
The Ministry of Agriculture and the ICNF at least now agree that the European Commission’s ‘European Forest Fire Information System’ was correct all along, although Portugal offers no