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Remains of a winemaking past

Remains of a winemaking past

The Pont de Vilomara fire, which occurred in the summer of 2022 in the Bages region (Catalonia), destroyed more than 1,700 hectares. It occurred on July 17th and 18th, in a context of high temperatures and extreme drought. Once the fire is out, the ashes reveal the agricultural past of the area.

The walls that mark the bundles, built following the ancient technique of dry stone (typical of the Mediterranean coast), and the fermentation vats allow us to guess that this had been a wine-growing area. In fact, after a few months, the vines were again showing green shoots in the area. The abandonment of crops is one of the main causes of the increase in forest mass in Catalonia, which in the last twenty years has gone from 1,902,856 hectares to over 2,047,000.

The increase in the forest area, which turns Catalonia into one of the leafiest places in Europe and, above all, the little or no management of these spaces has become a threat to the population. In the case of the Pont de Vilomara wildfire, the fire reached some houses and the authorities had to evacuate the residents of their houses due to the proximity of the flames to the residential area.

The conservation of cultivated areas close to homes has proven to be a risk prevention tool in wildfires. This is why vines can become great allies in these cases.