REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais has donated a vehicle to the Braga City Council, as part of its policy of supporting local communities, reinforcing the company's commitment to preventing and fighting rural fires. The vehicle will be allocated to the Local Civil Protection Unit (ULPC) of the Sobreposta Parish Council.
In 2019, the Braga City Council and the Pedralva Parish Council established an operational team at the Pedralva Parish ULPC, for which REN provided the first vehicle. In the municipality of Braga, five more ULPCs have been created (Parish Councils of Arentim and Cunha, Parish Councils of Nogueira, Fraião and Lamaçães, São Vitor, Espinho and Sobreposta), and this vehicle will be used at the Sobreposta unit. These units are tasked with supporting and enforcing local policy with regard to the prevention of serious accidents or catastrophes, thus promoting the protection and rescue of the population, property and assets of the parish.
For João Gaspar, head of REN's Easements and Assets, 'the company undertakes several preventive actions in conjunction with the competent authorities throughout the year, such as clearing energy transmission corridors, which increase the resilience of our infrastructures and the territories where they are located to rural fires, making it easier for firefighters and civil protection teams to fight them. The creation of these Local Civil Protection Units is a great example of prevention and above all an additional facilitator in the Defence Against Forest Fires', he added.
In the past three years, REN has cleared over 170 hectares around its energy transmission corridors in the municipality of Braga, and has planted over 13,000 indigenous trees in these areas, allowing an increase of local biodiversity, as well as improving the forest's resilience to fires.
Since 2009, REN has donated 82 vehicles to prevent forest fires, 53 of which were donated to Volunteer Firefighters, and 29 to the municipalities' civil protection fire prevention teams.
REN is currently responsible for clearing over 21,000 hectares of forest throughout the country. In the past five years, over 39,000 hectares have been cleared, the equivalent of a motorway between Portugal (Lisbon) and Mozambique (Tete). In 2020, about 10,603 hectares were cleared, 9587 of which were in easements and 1092 in owned properties of the concessions.'