Monday, 10 August 2015


Yesterday afternoon I went to see what damage had been done to the Sirenuse Trail following the scrub fire last week. I decided to set off from the eastern end of the path starting from the Madonnina at the bend on the main road  to the Colli di Fontanelle.

About 50 metres up the trail the undergrowth to the right was already black and charred, but the fire hadn't crossed the path which was clean and clear. Even the wooden slats forming the steps were perfectly intact and untouched.

Once up the hill and round the bend heading west, the damage became much more extensive and extended to both sides of the path, right up to the top of the hill and right down towards the sea.  However the path had never been cleaner, with no ash, no debris and no soot, probably thanks to the storm a couple of evenings ago.The vegetation at either side was completely burnt, although there were still lizards scuttling around and ants galore. There were a dozen crows circling overhead, disturbing the peace.

At the top, at Pizzetiello, the terraces were untouched, a welcome sight after all the devastation along the way. 

I ventured on towards the start of the steps which lead steeply down the other side. It was a bit of a hit and miss situation to find the track to the edge, since this stretch had succumbed to the flames and there were a lot of loose stones and burnt out shrubs that made it a little trickier both to keep clean and keep to the path. Once there however, the wooden rails  seem to have survived and looked no ricketier than they already were before the fire, be it a little scorched at ground level.
I didn't go any further but from the edge could see that the fire had descended right down to the bottom of the hillside and across, fortunately not getting as far as the red house, which was still happily surrounded by its green trees.
Fortunately, (dare I say it), the weather seems to be changing and with a bit of luck some heavy rain will put paid to the arsonist's fun and games for another  year.