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“One step in the green, one step in the burned,” says Operating Commander Marco Marques. Such a statement is not just lip service. His wildfire fighters are elite troops who belong to the Portuguese National Republican Guard (GNR) and fight daily on the borderline. The GNR can only successfully fight forest fires from the very front line. They complete over 4,000 deployments a year, setting out in helicopters or emergency vehicles to tackle smoldering fires before they have a chance to flare up seriously. The minimum objective is to damp down any blazes so that they can be quickly dealt with by fire units on the ground.