Volunteers hard at work on Saturday, planting species native to the area. :: Josele-Lanza
Ojén. Just two days after volunteers planted over 4,000 saplings on the mountains above Ojén, a forest fire destroyed another area of countryside near the town measuring two hectares.
The fire, which started at around 6pm on Monday this week in the in the Cordobachina area of Ojén, was visible from the Marbella to Monda road, sparking fear among residents who are still coming to terms with the losses caused by the area’s last big fire at the end of August last year.
Four fire fighting teams from Coín and Marbella were called to the scene and residents witnessed two helicopter teams dropping water to stop the spread of the flames. By 8.15pm the fire had been brought under control.
Just 48 hours before the fire started, 160 volunteers had spent Saturday planting saplings and shrubs as part of a reforestation project that has been organised by the town council and environmental groups with support from local schools, community groups, social clubs, political organisations and residents.
The first day of planting under the reforestation scheme took place at the end of December and another planned for Saturday 9th March will include disabled volunteers from across Andalucía.
Armed with hand tools and guided by forest rangers, last weekend’s volunteers planted saplings and young plants in the Pecho Enebral area on the mountainside opposite Ojén town.
According to the town hall, this area has been subject to at least four forest fires in the last 12 years. The species chosen for the reforestation are native to the area and resilient to the dry conditions and poor soils.