`Ancient Olive Trees Burn in Jordan Wildfires

Africa / Middle East

Ancient Olive Trees Burn in Jordan Wildfires

Jun. 1, 2020
Paolo DeAndreis

Recent News

Olive trees are among the most dam­aged by an extra­or­di­nary num­ber of fires hit­ting one of the most impor­tant regions in Jor­dan for forestry and olive oil mak­ing.

In the Jerash province, farm­ers believe that an area of 6,000 dunum (almost 1,500 acres) has already been dev­as­tated.

While the destruc­tion included oranges, lemons and other fruits, many cen­turies-old olive trees were caught in the firestorms.

The local author­i­ties are at work to con­tain the dam­ages. Imad Al-Ayas­rah, direc­tor of the regional Agri­cul­tural author­ity, noted that con­tain­ment pro­ce­dures include plow­ing of dried herbs, cre­ation of fire-con­trol zones within the dens­est veg­e­ta­tion areas, deploy­ment of a higher num­ber of local patrols and stronger coop­er­a­tion with all inter­ested par­ties.

Al-Ayas­rah has warned that the losses are severe and not lim­ited to the cur­rent sea­son, mostly because many of the destroyed acres were the home of ancient forestry trees as well as olive trees, almonds and other fruits whose pro­duc­tion could take many years to recover.

Advertisement

While many fires occur acci­den­tally due to higher-than-nor­mal tem­per­a­tures in the region, Al-Ayas­rah said some come from neg­li­gence. Other causes include the par­tic­u­lar rain sea­son that brought thick weeds spread­ing for miles before being quickly dried up by the sun.

The author­i­ties are ask­ing all par­ties, from munic­i­pal forces to local farm­ers, to team up and fol­low the direc­tions of the fire pre­ven­tion plans that have been devised to face the present cri­sis and bet­ter face future fires.

For local grow­ers, the firestorms rep­re­sent a severe hit com­ing right after the losses caused by the halt to the com­mer­cial oper­a­tions imposed by the gov­ern­ment fol­low­ing the COVID-19 epi­demic.



Related News