December 11, 2017

Inferno on Mount Vermillion

Bermeja wildfire

The conflagration blasts superheated gases upwards in a smoky plume that, caught by circling winds, is breathed across the tip of Spain nuzzling the head of her slumbering neighbour, Morocco. On the flanks of the Vermillion Mountain (Sierra Bermeja), where rich soil ores have given rise to panoply of life, the rare and endemic Abies Pinsapo (Spanish Fir), have neither hands to gather up their glaucous skirts nor feet to spirit them away from the destroyer. Whether their winged seeds will be lifted from them by the breezes of autumn and seed a precious generation of saplings in the womb of the earth is in the hands of human helpers now: skilled pilots weaving their craft through igneous up drafts of opaque air; desperate to quench the inferno and teams on the ground, hailing from all sides; fighting to beat the monster back. We watch and we hope.

Bermeja inferno

Inferno on Mount Vermillion

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