Portugal: Centre area councils to buy two drones to spot forest fires, environmental crimes

The Intermunicipal Community of Leiria Region (CIMRL) will buy two drones to prevent fires and environmental crimes, its president, Gonçalo Lopes, told the Lusa agency on Wednesday.

“This is an opportunity to strengthen the video surveillance network, to support Civil Protection in our region, increasing its coverage,” he said.

According to the Mayor of Leiria, the aim of the measure is “to equip the services of GNR and CDOS [District Command of Rescue Operations] with modern, updated and portable equipment, which allows a multipurpose use”.

Gonçalo Lopes highlighted the importance of using ‘drones’ in the area of Civil Protection, pointing out the prevention of fires, “but also in the environmental area, to avoid crimes, such as the polluting discharges into watercourses” and the “dumping of waste”.

The municipalities of Alvaiázere, Ansião, Batalha, Castanheira de Pera, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Leiria, Marinha Grande, Pedrógão Grande, Pombal and Porto de Mós are members of the CIMRL.

The new drones represent an investment of about €273,000 and incorporate infrared visible spectrum surveillance cameras

CIMRL explains that this is a project “of vital importance for the Region of Leiria”, an area vulnerable to droughts and forest fires”.

“The system of forest video surveillance and automatic detection of fires aims to reduce the number of false alerts and increase the reliability of confirmed alerts, a greater precision in the location of the outbreaks detected, better dimensioning of the means displaced for the combat and improvement of the monitoring process of the occurrences, based on remote access, centralized and in real time”.

Currently, this system has nine video surveillance towers, in addition to the two Management and Control centres, which cover 75% of the area.