For the first time all year, we've had sunny weather with blue sky. Except that we've had a big cloud of smoke over our town for those two days. There has been a controlled burning of a forest on a nearby hill. It's a favorite forest of mine, because it's where the sun and moon first appear on the horizon during the winter months. Luckily the smoke has stayed high above the town, but today I noticed that all the cars were covered in a light dusting of ash.
As to the reasons for the fire, I turn to two fans of the town's Facebook page.
They cut down the eucalyptus trees. Then all the stubble that remains after the logging is burned. That way the land is cleaned and prepared for the new planting of more eucalyptus trees.
It's a controlled burn, a bit of forestry work that is carried out with some regularity. What this work achieves is it removes the remains from the logging and pruning, which are used as bait for the insects and pests that colonize these remains. This way they can eliminate the remains and halt pests without using chemical products. Of course these fires are created under authorization and supervision, always on a day of low forest fire risk (temperatures below 30Â°C and wind under 25 kph). What is definitely true, however, is that they can seem outrageous.