Today is 30 October 2021.
During the day we enjoy a beautiful Indian summer this year,
but at night the temperature drops to around 10 degrees.
Autumn is coming.

Here in the mountains – at an altitude of 450 metres – you don’t just feel it, you smell it too:
In addition to the typical smell of autumn, there is the smell of the “queima de amontoados”.
In this time of year the tradition of making bonfires in the countryside starts again.
In the valley, the plumes of smoke rise up: it is allowed again!
But you have to register your bonfire nowadays, otherwise you risk a fine.

This period is called the non-critical period and runs officially from 30 september until 1 july,
but can be extended and/or shortened by decree every year, depending on the weather conditions.
Always check the official site of the ICNF (Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas).

It is mainly garden waste that catches fire, pruning waste from grapes and olives.
Plus other flammable things, doesn’t really matter what: the Portuguese like a good bonfire.

Approximately 98% of the large fires in Portugal are caused by people and can be traced back to agricultural and forestry activities that got out of hand. In order to reduce the risk of these small garden waste bonfires, among others, getting out of hand unintentionally, a law came into force in 2019.

Instead of declaring a ban or opting to collect the garden waste, a Portuguese solution appropriate to the tradition has been devised: making a bonfire is allowed, but with rules, exceptions and fines.
If you do not follow the established legal rules, you are considered an arsonist and can count on a personal fine that can range from €140 to €5,000.

To make it easy to light your bonfire legally, you can register your “queima de amontoados” online and there even is an app available (android only).

To be honest: the last few years, I’ve lit the pruning waste without a second thought.
But I’m going to do better: register first, it’s no big deal!

external links

handige Portugese woorden

waste burningqueima
firefogo, incêndio
fire hazardrisco de incêndio

30 October 2021.


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