Fires in Greece

Jane McGary
Wed, 29 Aug 2007 08:50:25 PDT
The many forum members who live in western North America are watching the 
news of Greece's forest and brush fires with empathy, since scenes of this 
kind are unhappily familiar to us. The loss of life and property is very 
sad, but at least there is a good chance that the natural environment will 
recover quickly. Last fall I visited an area in the Peloponnese that had 
burned very hot just a few months earlier. The bare red earth was liberally 
dotted with magnificently flowering bulbs, including Cyclamen graecum, a 
Biarum, and Arisarum vulgare. Many trees appeared to be alive, though 
charred at the base, and many shrubs were resprouting from underground. 
Even ferns were reappearing in the crevices of the rocks.

If the Greek government manages to prevent developers from seizing on the 
burned areas on the pretext that they are no longer forested, and thus open 
for building, the landscape should recover, though with some erosion if 
heavy rains follow. It is to be hoped that the state will also help the 
rural people repair their homes, which, fortunately, are mostly masonry 
with tile roofs and may be salvageable.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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