Huge Fire at Wilderness

A couple days ago there was a large fire at the northeast corner of the island in the Wilderness/Cul-de-Sac area. Apparently it started Tuesday night and I first saw it on Wednesday morning as it burned on the hills overlooking Cul-de-Sac. By the time I got back with my camera a little after noon, the fire spread considerably, and over the course of the afternoon it had burned almost all the grassy areas between the road to Anse Marcel and the road to the dump. I was told it started at the dump, and the dump was indeed burning along with much of the hill behind it. Although brush fires are a natural occurrence during the dry season, this one seemed to be manmade and significant amounts of trash burning surely released a lot of nasty stuff into the air.

In the photos below, you can see the fire in progress and some of the burned areas just after the fire. There were several firemen fighting the fire around a couple under-construction buildings that were vulnerable, but most of the houses were separated from the fire by roads. In the grassy areas, the fire burned quite quickly, leaving some of the larger trees and shrubs somewhat intact. It was also a bit uncanny that, aside from the area of the fire, the visibility was excellent, offering clear views of St. Barths as well as what I guess was St. Kitts further in the distance.

I was quite interested to see if any animals would be flushed out by the fire, but all I could see were lots of grasshoppers. A few cattle egrets also patrolled the edge of the fire for an easy meal. I also failed to find animal remains in the burned areas despite checking a pretty large section including hillside, flat areas and small ravines. Although some of the forested areas did burn, other parts seemed to escape damage. Large boulders in the ravines may have helped contain the fire. I look forward to heading back over the coming weeks to see how the area recovers.

One Response to “Huge Fire at Wilderness”

  1. Cul-de-Sac Burn Zone Revisited | Les Fruits De Mer Says:

    […] month I posted about a large fire that burned much of the hillside in Cul-de-Sac near the dump. Other obligations kept me from visiting the area as much as I would have liked after the fire, but […]