01 September 2008
One year later
Fire and rejuvenation
The summer of 2007 was a hot and dry summer that resulted in a rash of fires all along the Italian peninsula and our area saw its share of dangerous fires. Ascoli Piceno was subject to water rationing and the sound of Canadair planes going to and fro from the coast to the mountains to dump water had become familiar to us. We also experienced ragging fires that were visible from the historic center that I wrote about.
I was recently in the hills where this fire raced through last August and the signs of the damage are clearly evident; burnt trees and even trail markers. The scars of forest fires are nothing new to us after twenty years in New Mexico but none the less stark. For many people this is a sad and ugly scar on the landscape but I see it as a part of the cycle of life in the forests; something that helps to rejuvenate an area, bring in new plants and also new animals. Fire is dangerous but also a part of the cycle of life in any forest, we may not like it but the forests need it.
How man has managed to upset this balance of fire and rejuvenation is another topic too lengthy for a blog.