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18 years since the fire that devastated Berrocal

This Wednesday, July 27, is the 18 years from the beginning of the grave fire forest that burned in 2004 more than 29,000 hectares and that affected Berrocal as ground zero, and to 12 other municipalities in both the provinces of Seville and Huelva.

The Berrocal City Council, the San José Corchera Cooperative of the town and the Fuegos Nunca Más Platform have carried out a simple act of planting trees of native species. These are a carob tree, a cork oak, a holm oak and a thicket of rosemary, as symbols of the most representative species of the mountains, and of the vindication of the way of life linked to the forests that was lost with the fire.

Two people died inside their car trying to escape the fury of the flames and the town of Berrocal had to be evacuated. The Sierra de Berrocal burned down and, with it, the most important economic activity of the town, which was the extraction of cork, as well as grazing and beekeeping. The survival of this forest town, like that of so many others, has always been closely related to the conservation of its trees, the care of the forest and the work that its riches provide for rural life.

On this anniversary, from the City Council, the Cooperative and the Citizen Platform, «we stand in solidarity with all the towns that have suffered or are suffering forest fires. With this act of planting we also claim investments by the administrations so that our peoples can recover and maintain their forests, which generate the employment that fixes their population, as they did before succumbing to the flames, with grazing, agroecology , extensive livestock, and holistic management of trees and scrub.

Whether or not you want to accept the reality of climate change, the truth is that the fires that are plaguing Andalusia are becoming more powerful and difficult to extinguish. In any case, it is important for us to act to mitigate the pernicious effects for people and for all biodiversity of the increasingly adverse weather we are experiencing. The way to deal with these effects and mitigate them is by generating and regenerating natural forests with ecosystems of native species, which are the best adapted.

Our message in the face of this wave of fires is that all administrations must support and invest so that the towns recover their forest areas and the ways of relating to the mountains, since their forests are the only ones that have maintained and will be able to keep the towns alive. and work”, concludes the Consistory.

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