[UPDATE: August 16, 2022]
The Provincial Service of Zaragoza has mad an initial estimate of the land uses in the area that was affected by the fire.
The amount of land damaged came to 13,825 hectares. About 7,000 hectares of this was shrub pasture, 2,500 was wooded and 1,000 was pasture and wasteland. Furhtermore, 3,000 hectares of arable land was affected and the remaining 1,170 hectares correspond to pastures declared in the Common Agricultural Policy that support aid for extensive farming.
We are conducting a review of all applicable fire protocols. Given the global climate, we feel the need to go beyond the local fire safety requirements we have been following.
[UPDATE: August 02, 2022]
At 20.52 last night, the government of Aragón officially declared the fire extinguished. Estimations of the affected area are between 13,000-14,000 ha in total. Our technology and scientific teams are currently supporting the local authorities to analyze exactly how much forest area was damaged.
We have met with the people who live in the area as well as the local councils of the affected municipalities and offered our full cooperation. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies remain with everyone affected.
[STATEMENT: July 24, 2022]On July 18, a fire started on one of our reforestation projects in Ateca (Aragón, Spain).
The fire started while a contractor was using a retro-spider excavator to prepare the soil to plant trees later this winter. The operators alerted the emergency services, who worked non-stop and now have the fire under control. Nonetheless, we are devastated by the latest estimate that 14,000 hectares have been affected.
We sympathize deeply with the local community who were temporarily evacuated from their homes and saw their landscape severely damaged. Since the beginning of the emergency, we have offered our help and collaboration to the authorities. We will continue to follow up on anything we can do in this situation.
We want to emphasize that the contractor, a local company with extensive experience in the area, had the appropriate authorization issued by the local and regional authorities. In addition, Land Life requires all contractors to follow the preventive measures recommended by the authorities in these extreme drought and heat conditions.
Everyone at Land Life is deeply affected by the consequences of this devastating fire. Land Life was founded with the clear mission to restore nature, ecosystems and degraded land worldwide. After more than 7 years of planting trees in Spain, this year of unprecedented extreme climate conditions has been the first time we have experienced fire in our projects. Despite this heartbreaking setback, Land Life remains committed to restoring nature so critical to mitigating climate change.
We have opened an investigation to clarify what happened. We will share the results with the authorities and the public as soon as we have them. From Land Life, we send our support and solidarity to all affected people and the emergency teams involved.
Rebekah Braswell & Tjeerd Anema
CEOs, Land Life