Critical Fire Periods

No matter where you live in Portugal, and regardless of the local fire risk posted by your Municipality at that time,

During the Critical Fire Period, the following are PROHIBITED BY LAW.

  • Burning for grassland renewal, cleaning stubble or debris that is cut or uncut on the ground.
  • Burning of piled-up waste.
  • The use of stoves, BBQs and grills in all rural spaces, except where used outside of the critical areas(e.g on an outdoor, domestic hard surface) and in public places duly authorised for the purpose.
  • Smoking and all types of naked flames in woodland and forests.
  • Balloons with a lit fuse, flares or rockets.
  • Fumigating and pest control in apiaries are prohibited except where the fumigating devices are fitted with spark inhibitors.

NOTE: Machines and Vehicles Working On Your Land.

On days of maximum fire hazard, it is forbidden to work in a forest space with bush cutters, mulchers / shredders

All machines with internal or external combustion engines, and all vehicles working on or adjacent to open rural spaces, including heavy transport vehicles must have spark retention devices and flames covers on exhaust pipes and chimneys of machinery. Operators must carry one or two 6 kg fire extinguishers, depending on whether the maximum weight is less or more than 10 tonnes. 

Fireworks are only permitted on designated sites and must only be used if authorised by the Municipal Council. You may not use fireworks in your garden or elsewhere unless this rule is observed.


You can check the FIRE RISK INDEX online with the IPMA weather site.

The above information is based on the Decree-Law No 14/2019, Series 1 of 2019-01-21, Articles 16 to 28. Graphics provided by the ICNF (Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas) on the IPMA weather website, part translation into English by Safe Communities Portugal. (See links at bottom (footer) of every page.)

Observe all fire safety laws. There are heavy fines if you break them!