Did you know that recovering the mosaic of agricultural and forest uses is useful to curb the impact of fires?
This video, recorded in the vineyards of the Bodega Espelt, narrates the success history of how the vineyards that are part of the experimental pilots of LIFE MIDMACC proved key to preventing major damage caused by a fire in February 2022.
Climate change is accentuating drought which, together with windy episodes, is causing historically rare winter fires. In the Cap de Creus, the area where the vineyards are located, a forest fire is expected to come, due to the location, vegetation and wind influence. For this reason, the owners of the vineyards planned the estate, to find, in first place, an area where they could make high quality wines; and the second priority was to help prevent fires because that is their most important facing risk.
Fires there are always on Tramontana days, which is a wind that comes from the north. Therefore, what the owners did was, in the northern part of the estate, to put extensive livestock, in this case transhumant cows. In the next area, they opened a cleared area to keep the flammable biomass low. Then, a strip of vineyards and, finally, a strip between the vineyards and the sea where the traditional ecosystems of the area, which are cork oak forests, are allowed to evolve naturally.
Indeed, the last fire, occurred in February 2022, reached the state through the pasture area situated in the north. On the one hand, the three protection strips stopped the fire in many areas. And where the fire was able to advance, in areas that had not been cleared, the intensity of the fire was low enough for the firefighters to work safely.
As conclusion, public-private collaboration in land planning and management helps biodiversity and firefighting. Collaboration between farmers, technicians, scientists, and firefighters means that we can plan farms that are more resilient to fire and have more biodiversity. On the other hand, economic resources are essential to make this possible. The production of quality wine is key to sustain the management of the territory.