Sunday, 12 September 2010
Out of a (morbid) sense of curiosity, Ed and I drove towards Bocairent yesterday, to see the extent of the fire damage.
There were terrible patches of black on varous ridges, but not all of them. We then drove through the beautiful gorge, between Ontinyent and Bocairent and were shocked at the damage. It looked like a scene from a movie. Blackness and smoke on every turn. The smell was so prominent, it must have permeated everything last week. Thankfully, rains are expected fairly soon, and that will was the smell of ash and smoke away.
Everywhere we looked, the undergrowth was destroyed, but the tops of the trees were simply scorched. It was perfectly possible to comprehend how quickly the fire spread, and why it was so out of control. (The winds were very strong over those few days.) As the fire moved throught the valley, it simply burnt everything it touched, but moved so fast, it didn't stay to destroy completely.
I think, as soon as it has rained, the regeneration will start very quickly. Perhaps, even the trees will be ok, with just the needles of the pines damaged, but hopefully the trunks intact.
It must have been very frightening for those living nearby. The poor forestry workers, firemen and soldiers worked tirelessly to control something that was (aledgedly) started by one of their own. Dreadful.