Burnt area of ​​Murça will receive 7500 native trees this weekend | Biodiversity

Around 7,500 native trees will be planted between Friday, March 17th and Saturday, in Murça, in a reforestation action in the area burned in the great fire in July, promoted by the Cooperativa dos Olivicultores and Quercus.

After the fire that broke out in Murça, in the Vila Real district, the county’s Agricultural Cooperative of Olive Growers and the environmentalist association Quercus launched the campaign “A bottle, a tree! Let’s Plant Hope!”, which converted bottles of olive oil sold into trees, which will now be planted in the burned area.

Francisco Vilela, chairman of the board of directors of the cooperative, said this Monday that more than 7,500 trees will be planted, including birches, beeches and oaks resulting from the campaign, but also from a donation by the pharmaceutical company Astrazeneca.

“Basically, [espécies] hardwoods to create a buffer effect, or barrier, between agricultural plots and forest areas”, he said, explaining that the idea is to create “a strip of hardwoods between maritime pine monoculture plots”.

The official pointed out that, in the Murça fire, the buffer effect created by agricultural mosaics in the spread of fire was very visible.

The municipality was hit by a fire that lasted from the 17th to the 21st of July, spread to the neighboring municipalities of Vila Pouca de Aguiar and Valpaços and burned about 7000 hectares, mainly bush, but also pine forests, oaks and chestnut trees.

In this fire, 23 villages were affected, 14 in the municipality of Murça alone, and a couple, aged 69 and 72, died when they were leaving the village of Penabeice and the car they were traveling in fell into a ravine. The couple was found already dead in an area burned by the fire.

“If there were mosaics created in a thoughtful and strategic way, we could control the fire much better and this served as the basis for our initiative, that is, not putting pine trees on top of pine trees, but placing hardwoods, trees that are more resilient to fire so that, if If a problem like this happens, at least the burnt area is not so extensive”, said Francisco Vilela.

With this action, he explained, the intention is “to proceed not only with the simple acquisition of trees, but also to carry out the work of preparing the land and the respective planting and, on the other hand, to make farmers aware of the need to create a cordon around of their agricultural plots with these autochthonous species that are more resistant to fire”.

The official said that the reforestation scheduled for this week will take place in three plots of three common areas, in Valongo de Milhais and Jou, parishes very affected by the fire. On Friday, the initiative aims to raise environmental awareness and, therefore, schools in the municipality will be involved. The following day, it is intended to involve farmers, residents of the parishes involved, environmental associations, firefighters, among others.

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