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Wildfire damage, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.

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Photo ID: 655
Gallery ID: 62
Photo Title: Wildfire damage, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.
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Keywords:
wildfire damage, wildfire, forest fire, gran canaria, canary islands, pajonales forest, mogan, fataga, san bartolome de tirajana, cercados de araña, ayaguares, blue chaffinch, fringilla teydea polatzeki, canary pine, pinus canariensis,
Description:
During the month of August 2007, an unhappy forestry worker intentionally set fire to part of a pine forest, a fire that within hours developed into an immense wild fire of unprecedented size. During a period of exceptionally high temperatures and driven by strong dry winds, the fire raged out of control for almost two weeks, severely damaging much of Gran Canaria’s southern highlands area, both pine forests and scrubland. The fire destroyed the Pajonales forest, which was a sanctuary for the rare Blue Chaffinch (Fringilla teydea polatzeki) not to mention the decimation of the lizards, rabbits and rodents, which are an important food source to the many birds of prey. The Fire also reached the villages of Mogan, Fataga, San Bartolome de Tirajana, Cercados de Araña and even almost reached the south coast near to Maspalomas, severely damaging the Los Palmitos Zoo Park. This image is of the mountains to the north east of the Ayaguares reservoir, which forms the Pilancones nature park, which was totally burnt. Fortunately the Canary Pine (Pinus canariensis) is one of the most fire-resistant conifers in the world and eventually will regenerate and in time the forests will return to their original beauty, many pines that were severely burnt have already started sprouting new growth. Sadly this may take several decades.
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