Fire Prevention Campaign – Help us prevent Forest Fires!

Zone specifications: 
Zone 1 Main part of quinta MdD including guest facilities
Zone 2 New part of MdD to be restored as forest zone
Zone 3 Main access road
Zone 4 Separate piece of land belonging to MdD and to be restored as forest zone  
Zone 5 Secondary access road

Moinhos do Dão made it through last year without any damage from the fires that ripped through Central Portugal in the summer and fall.  The fires destroyed more than half a million hectares of forest, agricultural lands, monocultures, 850 houses and 450 businesses...and left 104 people dead. It was really just luck that no fires made it to our part of the Dão valley. Some of you might remember the MdD had fires on its 'doorstep' in the past.  It can happen anywhere.  Many friends and colleagues were not as lucky—they lost their livelihood, homes and the forest around them.

Everybody in Portugal knows this was a man-made disaster that has been in the making for many years. The combination of factors such as inadequate property laws, short-term-gain mindset, cultural disconnection from nature and climate change has proven to be very dangerous. 

The worst fire year in Portuguese history...what's next? 
Even though fires have been troubling Portugal for many decades the scale and intensity of the fires of 2017 were 'the next level'.  It is heartening to see many new civilian and federal initiatives for reforestation and policy changes, to revive what was lost and try to prevent this from happening again. The severity of the fires and the damage caused have literally and figuratively created space for doing things differently.  We are joining in the effort by being pro active in our area.  But so much still has to change on the level of lawmaking, economy, culture etc. and this will take time and persistence...in other words: there is a long way to go.

Portugal, as well as the Moinhos do Dão, need all the help they can get to stay green and safe. At our quinta we have always been active with fire prevention and safety measures by cleaning the lands around us and having extra pumps and hoses installed. As conditions change, with more hectares of highly flammable eucalyptus and pine plantations around us and a hotter and drier climate, we need to do more.

We are reaching out to you, our network of friends of the Moinhos,
to ask for your help so we can realize the:

Moinhos do Dão – Fire Prevention Campaign

Fire Prevention Plan

The Goal
Create a larger fire barrier around the main quinta (zone 1), including the restoration of the native (cooler and more humid) ecosystem around the quinta. To make the Moinhos more safe for ourselves and our guests, and so that nature can keep thriving in this piece of 'paradise' in the Dão river valley.

The Strategy
Once a fire has started it needs 2 things to keep going: oxygen and flammable materials.  We cannot remove oxygen from the equation, but we can remove flammable materials (cleaning) and make it harder for them to grow back. We will remove the forest understory of dry shrubs and support the remaining and new trees to grow tall and bring back a healthy forest that can keep the hillside cool and retain water in the ground.  Our strategy for making it impossible for the dry shrubbery to grow back is: pulling them out root and all (instead of cutting them down), covering the soil with mulch, and planting native trees where needed.  
We will do mainly cleaning work along the two access roads (3 and 5 on the map) and cleaning, mulching and planting work on two pieces of land we own on the edge of the quinta (2 and 4 on the map). Once this work is done it will be harder for a fire to reach us. In the other areas that surround the quinta (as you can see on the map) our neighbor is doing cleaning work as well.  When our project is completed it will actually be possible to do annual maintenance on all the zones for continual, long lasting fire-prevention. 

The Actions:
1. Remove 'fire hazard materials' from all zones on the edge of the quinta (zones 2,3,4 and 5) such as mimosa trees (invasive and highly flammable species), shrubs, brambles and other flammable plant matter.
2. Turn this material into chips/mulch to cover the soil, bring the carbon back into the ground and protect the soil from eroding and drying out. (zones 2 and 4) 
3. Plant broad leaf native trees to create a fire brake (cooler and more humid type of forest). (zones 2 and 4)

Planning:
February till end of 2018 - reach out to network with the Fire Prevention Campaign
April till end of June - remove as much flammable materials as possible & chip on site
October till end of 2018 - continue to remove flammable materials, chip on site and plant broad leaf native trees.

You can help in three ways:

1. Donate to the Fire Prevention Fund.  
The estimated the costs of making Moinhos do Dão more safe from fires are € 4300,-.
This includes:
€ 2600 for hiring a local business with a crew and the right machinery for the cleaning of fire hazard materials from 1.5 hectares of land in zones 2 and 4
€ 450 buying two 'Weed Wrenches' for pulling out shrubs
€ 550 for hiring an industrial chipper
€ 300 for buying trees
€ 400 for feeding the volunteers that will work on this project with us during the year.

With our own money and the first donations from family we have collected € 1200,-
Please help us reach our goal to make the Moinhos more safe so nature can keep thriving and people can keep enjoying this little 'paraíso' in the Dão river valley.

DONATION OPTIONS: 
1. Online donation Platform - GoFundMe
2. Per PayPall account - info@moinhosdodao.org 
3. Per Bank transfer - Bank Account number  IBAN PT50 0018 000039157465001 36,  Moinhos do Dão Act Turisticas

ALL LEVELS OF DONATIONS FROM € 5 to € 3000 🙂 ARE APPRECIATED! 
GIFT FOR THE GIVER: donations of € 30 and above will receive an A3 high quality print of our home made 'Summer Fruits' poster (see below). Don't forget to send us your address!
GIVE TO STAY: in return for donations above € 500 we offer a free stays at the quinta. Contact us for more information.   

2. Lending a hand.
Join the crew for a clean up week in April (14-21) or a clean up and planting week in November (3-10). Enjoy free room and great food at Moinhos do Dão in return for 6-7 hours of group work. Maximum number of participants is 10 and the minimum participation is 3 days.
Volunteers are welcome to stay longer for free before and after the week! 

3. Tell a friend of our project and needs. Maybe he/she is willing to donate or lend a hand!?

Thank you for your help and consideration!!