Inland Pont de Vilomara forest grows back a year after wildfire

Blazes affected 1,750 hectares, but area could become a "green carpet" in five years

Workers at the burned area of the Pont de Vilomara forest a year after the wildfire
Workers at the burned area of the Pont de Vilomara forest a year after the wildfire / Nia Escolà
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | El Pont de Vilomara

May 26, 2023 01:31 PM

May 26, 2023 09:38 PM

Last summer's wildfire in inland Catalonia's town of Pont de Vilomara affected 1,750 hectares of forest. Almost a year after, the area is growing back despite the lack of rain, and experts hope for the area to recover its green color in five years.

After the fire, the Catalan government started urgent work to contain the erosion of the terrain and to improve the conditions for trees and plants to grow back. Some of the actions included cutting down burned trees.

While in the 90s, the priority was to plant, now experts propose for a natural regeneration of the area.

During the wildfire, around 30 houses were burned down.

"We cannot continue with the old idea of harvesting again. Nature grows back, but we have to help it," says government official Anna Sanitjas / Catalan News

Some of the burned trees have been set in a strategic way "to stop water" and potential storms to erosion of the terrain, as Josep Estruch, an engineer at the climate action department, said.

Almost a year after, the first plants can be seen in the burned area, and despite the lack of rain during winter and spring, the last days of precipitation will "help a lot" the area, and some plants are already growing back.

While the first tree species will return to the forest in one year, in four to five years, the area will "probably become a large green carpet again," Estruch said.