Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Forests gone: Kakoperato / Samos 2010

In August 2010 a fire broke out in the Kakoperato region on the greek east aegean island of Samos and - driven by heavy winds - raged through the Kakoperato region east of the Kerkis mountain range, starting 150 meters south of the monastery Panagias Kakoperato and burning its way through a valley destroying a unique natural green forest region with lots of tall trees.

In addition, about 300 beehives were lost in that area due to the wildfire.

After the fire could cross the top of the mountains at the southern end of the valley, it went down the southern slopes of the mountains until it reached the outskirts of the tourist resort Votsalakia near the seaside.
Thanks to combined efforts by many firefighters, the fire could be stopped and none of the village houses was destroyed.

In October 2010 I visited the area, it looked almost like indian summer over there with the brown leaves/needles on the (dead?) trees.

The remote Kakoperato area - far away from the beaches - might not be known to most of the tourists coming to Samos for a beach holiday. But to all those tourists who came early or late in the season to experience and enjoy the beautiful landscapes away from the beaches it is a big loss!
And it is a big loss for the beekeepers too!

While it will be green again pretty soon on the grounds - fern already is present again - it will take quite some time (approx. 80-100 years) until new trees will have grown to the same size again there.

Many trees gone here ....

some remaining here:

What was the cause of this fire? Maybe another lesson to be learned! The fire originated in an area not far away from the monastery Kakoperato where many beehives are located:

With regards to my generation and the next one the result obtained is obvious: another forest area gone on Samos island!

Other greek aegean islands don't face this kind of problem anymore in the hot summer month with strong winds - mainly July and August - because these islands are bare and/or there are no more forests remaining.

Already in August I had a post in my blog about the Kakoperato region.
Kosmadiki posted 2008 a video about the Kakoperato canyon on YouTube.

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