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Amorim cork forests escape fires in Portugal

The historic and invaluable cork forests of southern Portugal have escaped the fires that ravaged the nation during August.

The fires were mainly contained to the mountainous north of the country where more than 180,000 hectares of pine, eucalyptus and wild bush was lost or severely damaged.

Amorim Cork spokesperson, Carlos de Jesus, said the country’s main cork forests, which produce the world’s finest cork for the international wine industry, were carefully managed and regularly cleaned of fuel, such as bush, that may feed a fire.

Additionally cork is a great insulator so even in the presence of a fire trees rarely ignite, Mr de Jesus said.

He said Amorim’s purchases from the recently completed 2005 harvest were already stored within the security of the company’s factories at Ponte de Sor and Coruche, ensuring there would be no interruption of supply to Amorim customers.

Further information can be obtained from Carl Moreton, general manager of Amorim Cork Australia on (03) 9701 7200.

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