THE OLIVE GROVE, A NATURAL FIREBREAK AGAINST FOREST FIRES
One more summer we are again witnessing with pain the proliferation of forest fires that plague our country, but it is also a good time to reflect on the great role that endemic ecosystems like the olive grove play in the prevention of fire and its spread.
Native landscapes adapt better against fires
The outrageous reality of man-made fires is aided by other circumstances that unfortunately act as fire enhancers. Factors such as weather conditions, difficult terrain, accumulated weeds and certain species of trees that burn with disturbing ease.
However, there are other natural factors that do contribute to the fight against fire. Landscapes such as the Mediterranean “dehesa”, with its holm oaks and cork oaks, are the product of an adaptation to environmental conditions over time, also demonstrating their enormous resistance to fire. A landscape as ours as the olive grove not only contributes to the preservation of the environment in general, it also becomes an extraordinary ally against fires. The olive groves of Andalusia stand out for the care with which they are maintained, with well-kept soils that act as natural firebreaks. And this, thanks to the daily work of thousands of farmers, in a respectful relationship with the environment, well known at Agro Sevilla.
In the Algarve fire, it was found that some species imported into the Peninsula such as eucalyptus are especially harmful in fires. In fact, there has been much comment on the case of a Portuguese village that was saved from the flames thanks to the containment effect of the chestnut trees and olive trees that surrounded it, endemic species that, almost in a romantic way, "defend what is theirs" and act as an oasis in the midst of destruction.