In recent weeks I’ve spent several days in the Morrone massif and have seen, up close, how the mountain is recovering after the significant wildfires that broke out across it last August. Anyone who witnessed those flames sweeping through the forest and grassland will not be surprised to know that the damage has been significant.
In places, perhaps mostly on the lower slopes and in the plantations of black pines, the trees have been completely destroyed. New growth will quite quickly spread across the ground but the trees themselves will not recover. Paths through these areas can still be followed however, perhaps more easily in places – no problems for now with undergrowth blocking the way!
Other areas, in fact most of the ground affected by the fire, are well on the way to recovery. Some trees have been killed but most, to my untrained eye, are damaged but alive and may well grow again. The ground cover, grasses and shrubs, is re-establishing itself quickly. And the wild flowers are thriving! From down in the valley these areas already look green again.
Out of the forest, grass burnt off last year is growing back strongly.
The path network is in pretty good shape. I haven’t been anywhere the track was so damaged that I couldn’t walk it. Painted waymarkers have been affected as you would expect, especially those on trees but many are still distinguishable. And thanks to the great efforts of volunteers from Sulmona CAI (Club Alpino Italiano) and their friends the damaged waymarkers are being restored. In places it’s now better than it was before!
The message is – get out there and enjoy it. Whilst it is a little shocking to behold in places, nature is reasserting itself; a message given to me by two beautiful red deer hinds that I watched running across the blackened ground near Eremo San Pietro!