REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais, today delivered seven vehicles to voluntary fire brigades as part of its policy to support local communities, reinforcing the company's commitment to the prevention and fighting of rural wildfires.
In a ceremony at REN's facilities in Sacavém, attended by the President of the National Authority for Civil Protection, Brigadier General José Manuel Duarte Costa, and by the Vice President of the League of Portuguese Firefighters, Rui Rama da Silva, the corporations of Benavente (Santarém), Famalicão (Braga), Macedo de Cavaleiros and Miranda do Douro (Bragança), Estarreja and Arouca (Aveiro), and Armamar (Viseu) received a pickup truck from João Conceição, Executive Director at REN.
Since 2009, in close partnership with ANEPC - Autoridade Nacional de Emergência e Proteção Civil (the Portuguese National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority), with ICNF - Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas (the Portuguese Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests), and with the municipalities, in the defence of forests against wildfires, REN has donated 89 vehicles to multiple institutions, including fire brigades and municipal fire prevention teams.
According to João Conceição, 'REN has argued for many years that prevention against rural wildfires is not only carried out during the critical season. For this reason, throughout the whole year, we carry out several prevention actions in articulation with the competent authorities, cleaning the energy transport corridors, to increase the resilience of our infrastructure and of the territories where it is located, while creating opportunities for the Firefighters and for other Civil Protection Teams to fight wildfires. We know that the fire brigades share our vision and that they work tirelessly every day to prevent attacks on Portuguese forests. The donation of these vehicles is nothing more than recognition of their tireless work'.
REN in defence of the forest
• REN has been carrying out constant work in the prevention of rural wildfires in partnership with ANEPC, ICNF, and the municipalities where power lines and gas pipelines allocated to the concession of the Portuguese National Electricity Transmission Grid and the Portuguese National Natural Gas Transmission Network are located;
• At national level, REN has almost 10,000 kilometres (around 35,000 hectares) of power line and gas pipeline easements, with more than 60% of these easements (23,000 hectares) in forest areas. In the last five years, REN has cleared more than 38,000 hectares (9,000 hectares in 2021);
• This work is carried out on lands that do not belong to REN, requiring contact with the landowners before any intervention. In 2021 alone, more than 32,000 landowners were contacted in this prevention work;
• Since 2010, REN has reforested over 3,600 hectares in the easement areas. In addition to increasing biodiversity and resilience to forest fires, these actions also enable landowners (20,000 by 2021) to obtain some income from the lands. By the end of the second planting season, REN will have more than one thousand hectares of strawberry trees - the species best suited to this strategy - planted throughout the country;
• At the end of 2021, 36% of the forest area crossed by REN's electricity grid throughout the country had already been subject to these reforestation projects, and the company's goal is to reach 2025 with 50% and 2030 with 60%;
• In 2022, and throughout the entire wildfire season, REN has in operation six prevention and surveillance teams, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These teams are equipped with first intervention equipment, which enables them to carry out a first intervention to combat wildfire outbreaks;
• Since 2009, REN has donated 89 vehicles to prevent wildfires. 60 vehicles were donated to voluntary fire brigades and 29 to civil protection fire prevention teams from the municipalities.~