The fires on La Gomera this summer have been absolutely devastating to the unique laurel forest as well as the local communities with loss of live, homes and livelihood. Just an afternoon’s drive across the roof of the island through the Parque National de Garajonay (a Unesco Heritage Site) and through the cloud villages of Las Hayas, Chipude and El Cercado. Sadly, the extend of the devastation is even worse than we anticipated with very large areas of forest completely burnt and vineyards completely blackened.
Here are the first a pair of before and after images. This is one of the most famous landmarks on La Gomera, the impressive Roque Agando. The one after the fire (above) was taken this Christmas (2012) and the one before the fire (below) was taken in 2006.
Due to the heavy autumn rains, ground growth is adding a little fresh green to a completely blackened forest and barren ground, but the trees will likely take a decade or even more to regenerate.