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Assessment of Damage After Local Fires

Source: Mr Grumpy - Tue 23rd Aug 2011

This weekend's forest fire in Lliber, on the northern edge of the Costa Blanca, was by no means one of the larger fires the country saw this weekend, but it was one that my colleague and I were able to capture footage of on our trusty mobile phones.

We had caught footage on the Sunday evening, as the flames took hold and looked certain to threaten neighbouring properties in our valley. On Monday we witnessed a final effort by the regions helicopters and aeroplanes to quench the fires as it smouldered.

So it only seemed natural today, 48 hours after the fire took hold, to take a look at the extent of the damage.

To say that the area where the fire took hold is inaccessible is an understatement. The back road between the tiny village of Lliber and the Town of Gata de Gorgos runs for around 10km, and is hardly wide enough for two cars to pass each other except for a handful of lay-by's. It winds in and out of Mountains as it follows the River Gorgos, which is totally dry for around 10 months of the year.

The fire took hold on the steep face of one of the mountains, but the tinder-dry vegetation and prevailing wind soon meant that it rose up and over the mountain, onto the plateau overlooking the valley and, although the flames could be seen from a distance, I couldn't actually see the damage caused. Various newspaper reports have put the damage to be around 20 Hectares, but I could only see a fraction of the damage on the hillside that faced me.

This part of the valley is well-known for being home to such fires. Only last year a much smaller fire devastated a number of trees, but although it came much closer to a group of properties it was easily contained due to it's close proximity to the road.

Unfortunately, like in so many other cases. Many of these fires are later found to have been caused either deliberately or by negligence.

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