‘BURNS NIGHT’ – CONTAINING FOREST FIRES ON ABACO


Abaco Forest Fire 4

‘BURNS NIGHT’ – CONTAINING FOREST FIRES ON ABACO

Every year Abaco has a number of forest fires, especially in the south of the island. The timing is variable –  sometimes it’s March, right now it’s… right now. The fires are good in some respects for the forest, and regeneration is remarkably rapid. Links to previous posts on the topic are shown below. Many, or most, are (allegedly) started by hunters clearing scrub and undergrowth so that the dogs can chase the hogs. The rights and the wrongs are debatable, but what is beyond doubt is that a change of wind can cause fires set in forest on the unpopulated west side to jump the Highway across to the east side. There are farms and settlements there, and these are regularly put in peril. The Delphi Club has had a couple of close calls when the thick coppice between the house and the pinewoods failed adequately to deter the flames (in theory, it should!); Crossing Rocks had some nights last year when the whole community united to protect the settlement. Now it’s the turn of Bahama Palm Shores, where the fire service and volunteers have spent the last few days – and nights – trying to prevent fire reaching the houses. So far, so good. Abaco is a wonderful place, but the fires can be powerful and scary, spreading rapidly in the wind.

Luc Lavallee is one of the volunteers, and hasn’t had a lot of sleep recently. He has posted regular bulletins during the night on the BPS Facebook Page to keep everyone informed of the situation and the work in progress – for example creating firebreaks. Here are some of his photos over the last few days; the aerial shot is by photographer David Rees, who takes wonderful ‘drone’ photos.

Forest fire, BPS, Abaco (David Rees) Forest Fire, BPS, Abaco (Luc Lavallee) Forest Fire, BPS, Abaco (Luc Lavallee) Forest Fire, BPS, Abaco (Luc Lavallee)

This photo captures the fire raging in the middle of the night, making an almost abstract imageForest Fire, BPS, Abaco (Luc Lavallee)

FOREST FIRES –  BURNING SENSATIONS

FOREST FIRES – TOO CLOSE TO DELPHI

FOREST FIRES – REGENERATION

INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY AT SAWMILL SINK REVEALED BY FIRE

Finally, here is a shot I took last year from the Delphi balcony looking west to the sunset. The fires had burned for several days, and the suns rays in daytime had to penetrate clouds of smoke and ash. The effect was striking.

Forest Fires, Delphi Abaco 2013

 

 Credits: Header & last pic- RH at Delphi 2013; aerial shot – David Rees; other images – Luc Lavallee

 

 

6 thoughts on “‘BURNS NIGHT’ – CONTAINING FOREST FIRES ON ABACO

    • The fires are an (almost) annual thing, and they are indeed helpful… but too many are being recklessly set by hunters (allegedly, I’d better add), and each year fires are getting closer to homes and settlements rather than being confined to deep forest. Sooner or later, some poor settlement is going to cop it when the wind changes… RH

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  1. Stay safe! We have had smoke in the air already and expect more this season too. It’s always easy to tell when Arizona is on fire because we get a whole bunch of new and exotic wildlife migrating to New Mexico.

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    • Quite inappropriately, your sentence #2 made me laugh. Poor Arizona, I mean of course – but I’m taken by the image of a wholesale temporary exit by ‘exotic wildlife’ until the situation is back to normal. Maybe some like it and stay on, and will become the next generation’s everyday creatures… RH

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    • Very true Lucy, EXCEPT that the birds can fly off to other areas, and apart from wild hog (= boar) there are very few mammals to have to consider (no rabbits or deer for example, or anything cuddly or fluffy). And the one good thing going for the unique underground-nesting parrots that breed in the pine forests is that the fires sweep over their nests in limestone holes that may be 3 feet deep. So they just wake up to a new landscape… RH

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