Scorched earth of Portugal fires may hold seeds of a renewal

By Alex Bugge
October 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MACAO, Portugal  – Large parts of Portugal’s interior are desolate places these days, with charred trees as far as the eye can see and an acrid smell lingering in the air. Sixty-four people died in this year’s summer fires, Portugal’s deadliest natural disaster in living memory. Three months after the biggest blaze, it’s hard to imagine anything growing again in the hills around towns like Macao. But the blackened terrain may hold the seeds of a plan that could not only stop the cycle of deadly fires but also rejuvenate the local economy with commercial farming and forestry projects. …The Minister of Agriculture, Forest and Rural Development, Luis Capoulas Santos, told Reuters his ministry stands ready with 600 million euros for forest reform until 2020.

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