Fires in Portugal

            Fires in Castanheira de Pera, Pedrógão Grande and Figueiró dos Vinhos.

On the 17th of June a fire started in Pedrogao Grande and spread quickly to cover a vast area.

It is still under investigation but it probably started with dry lightning, followed by a small tornado and high winds. It then spread over to the Coimbra area, in Gois.

I am Malin and I live in this area, I am part of the estate agency team at P.P.Property and have been working in this area for almost three years, here is my story..

I have been living here for 5 years and I have seen a few fires over the years, I know the forest and nature will recover.

I saw the lightning and heard the thunder, saw the smoke on the afternoon of the 17th June 2017, none of us living here had any idea that it would spread so quickly and affect so many people, it is the worst natural disaster Portugal has seen in many years.

P.P.Property has sold many houses in this area over the years, so the first days after the fire I went driving around to see as many people as I could, to make sure that they were safe and to see that the houses were good. The people I have seen are all safe and well, shocked but they have survived as have most of their houses, some houses have been affected and mostly all the house gardens and land have been burnt.

For all of you that haven't seen the aftermath of a fire, you will be shocked when you see it with your own eyes for the first time, for me, now that I have been driving around for almost 3 weeks after the fire, I can start to see the beauty of the area, I am discovering new small lanes and roads, small stone ruins and pretty stone walls that people probably built hundreds of years ago, that you were unable to see before. I am seeing small shoots of green, and trees and vines are getting green leaves.

The most beautiful thing about this area, is the people, I have never come across such loving, helpful and caring people, even in a disaster like this. Portuguese people side by side with foreigners who can't speak to each other, but helping each other in every way, like giving food, water and looking after each others animals and giving shelter. I have talked to so many foreigners who have bought houses in this area, and the general sentence they all say is:

We are not leaving, we love it here, the atmosphere, the people, the safety, the picturesque towns, the generosity... I couldn't agree more!

All the affected towns are getting back on their feet, I hear laughter, children are on school holiday, the weekly fruit and vegetables market is thriving, the river beaches are open and so is the amazing outdoor swimming pool in Castanheira de Pera, called Praia de Rocas, the campsite in Figueiró dos Vinhos, called Foz de Alge, with friendly staff and a pool is also open.

When it comes to our houses we have for sale in this area, most of them has been affected, some ruins have lost their wooden structure and only have the beautiful stone walls left, the wooden structure in reality would probably have to be replaced anyway but it is part of ‘the dream’ when you are searching for property, it will probably be a slightly more realistic search now…..

Most of the lands and gardens have burnt down, but this will recover. The properties on the web page will be updated with how the properties look now.

For all of you that have booked trips to here or are looking for houses in this area, I hope you can see beyond the devastation and still see the beauty of this area, as us people who are already living here can!

Malin Daniels.