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FIRE

The risk of fire varies according to the structure of the vegetation and the degree of inflammability amongst the dominant species. Inflammability increases or decreases according to the humidity of plant material. Dry meadows and pinewoods with scrub and thickets, which occupy large areas of Collserola, are highly inflammable formations. On the other hand, in the more humid areas occupied by holm oak wood and riparian vegetation, the degree of inflammability is much lower and the risk of fire is substantially decreased.

 

Climate conditions and enormous human pressure in the Serra are the crucial factors in fire risk here. For this reason, a fire prevention campaign is launched every year, lasting from March to October, with surveillance and prevention services from watchtowers in the Park and surrounding areas.

 

Lightning, which is a frequent occurrence during dry summer storms, is the principal natural cause of fire. Nonetheless, most fires in nature reserves are started by human actions, and Collserola is no exception to this rule. According to figures for the last 20 years, more than 90% of fires in the Park are caused either deliberately or due to negligence.

 

After fires, the regeneration of the vegetation depends on the characteristics of the species affected, the intensity of the fire and its recurrence or the time since the last blaze. Much of the landscape diversity in the Serra could not be explained without consideration of the effects caused by fire.

 

Regarding fauna, the real effects of fire are not as serious as one might at first imagine. Assessment of its impact varies according to time of year, intensity and extension, as well as the types of habitat and fauna group affected. Only on very few occasions has fire endangered a species in the Mediterranean.

Consorci del Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola
Ctra. de l'Església, 92. 08017 Barcelona. T: 932 803 552

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