Fire is a natural part of the Mediterranean cycle, clearing vegetation to make way for new growth, and areas where there has been a fire one summer are reputed here to be the best places to look for wild asparagus the following spring. It’s still terrifying, though, when it comes near villages as it did near ours last Thursday. Fortunately, no occupied houses were affected and the vineyards are rarely touched because the leaves are too damp and vine wood is to dense and slow burning. A huge expanse, 50 hectares, of garrigue – the wild mix of herbs, evergreen oak and small shrubs that grows on uncultivated hills all around the Mediterranean – was destroyed. It was strange today to go through a familiar landscape, now changed to a wasteland of ash and burnt wood. The green will grow again in spring, but the trees will take longer to return.

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12 thoughts on “Fire

  1. Great shots – it all looks very dramatic. One year when I was living here alone (had only just met Big Man) a fire was deliberately started in the campo near my house – it was a frightening experience and people used to do this to devalue the land so that it couldn´t be used to grow on and would have to be reassigned with building or residential permits. Fortunately that has now changed.

  2. Great photographs! While in the South of France, I’ve seen planes landing in the sea to scoop up water to douse a large out of control fire. It’s quite spectacular, but as you say, very dangerous!

  3. Wild fires are a part of the ecosystem here as well. The one good thing about our unusually cool summer this year is that we have had fewer fires. We had an awful fire season two years ago when we had dry lightning all over the state. The wild lands not far to the south of us burned for a couple of months. There were a few days when I couldn’t see across the valley, a distance of less than 1/2 mile. I’m happy to see that your village came through ok. Fire may be a natural and even beneficial part of the landscape, but…

  4. We saw the smoke from our terrace but missed the local news to find out where it was. We took some photos of the smoke pillar. It is very frightening at the time but the flowers and plants that come out the following Spring are often spectacular.

  5. Pingback: After the fire | olivesandartichokes

  6. Pingback: Water and fire, renaissance and a dying back again | olivesandartichokes

  7. Pingback: Dry spring | olivesandartichokes

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