Saturday, 29 March 2014


A huge wild fire destroyed hundreds of acres north of Almeria in the Sierra Gador on Wednesday 26th March. Below is the photograph we took, when we spotted it, en route for the Sierra de los Filabres. Although we were some 40kms away, it was possible to see the flames licking across the hillsides and the towering clouds of smoke. There was a powerful wind too, whipping the fire ever faster. As you pass through this landscape, it is easy to see how a fire could take hold, as the vegetation is tinder dry after a long period of no rain. 

The Spanish Air Force deployed four  Bombardier planes, from the 43rd Groupo at Torrejon, near Madrid, to fight the fire. They are Spain's elite fire fighting unit. Below are three of the planes, Mike photographed.

Not wishing to get in the way of any fire fighting action, we waited until Friday to go to the area of the fire to see for ourselves the damage and it was a very sad scene of desolation. The village of Enix was  lucky to be spared, as the fire reached the very boundaries of the village, some houses only metres from being engulfed, but it must have been terrifying to see at close quarters, as it was driven so fast by the wind.

This area, thankfully, is sparsely populated, so to our knowledge there was no loss of life, but the damage to the countryside was huge. What trees there are in this area were mostly destroyed, below you can see the scorched hillside, where the fire swept through. As we stood sadly viewing the blackened and charred hills, the smell of fire and clouds of ash pervaded the air.

Although some trees appear green on the top, they are blackened and burnt below.

Some pockets seem to have been spared and hopefully will help to regenerate the area, but the damage to species of insects, flora and fauna is incalculable, especially at this time of year.

But nature is a wonderful thing and just along from the devastation, Mike photographed a pair of Golden Eagles, hunting, as if nothing had happened.

Also on some wild flowers, we found this handsome Burnet Moth, in all its metallic beauty.

A miniature Rock Rose bloomed among some boulders. 

This area has seen many fires and nature repairs and replenishes the land, but we must not take her for granted. We each have a duty to future generations, to keep these special places in the world and to do all we can to preserve them.

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