Hot weather likely cause of Mosta valley fire

A fire that spread through Mosta's Wied tal-Isperanza on Sunday night was likely caused by the stifling hot weather

The fire ripped through the picturesque valley last night, leaving charred trees and ashen fields in its wake. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
The fire ripped through the picturesque valley last night, leaving charred trees and ashen fields in its wake. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday

A fire that spread through Mosta's Wied tal-Isperanza on Sunday night was likely caused by the stifling hot weather.

The fire ripped through the picturesque valley last night, leaving charred trees and ashen fields in its wake.

Environment minister Jose Herrera, during a visit to the valley, said that while nothing can be ruled out at this stage, the early indications are that the hot weather played a part.

"There was a lot of dry grass, wheat and combustible materials...the heat combined with the drought could have caused the fire."

Herrera said that the damage to the valley is not as bad as it first appeared and that the lost shrubbery will grow back naturally within a few months once the weather gets rainy.

However, the widespread death of insects in the area will mean that it will take a while before the valley’s ecosystem can fully recover.

Early signs are that none of the trees, which include indigenous ones such as Aleppo pines and carob trees, that were charred in the flames have perished. However, Herrera pledged that the government will replant any trees if it turns out that some have in fact been killed.

“We should use this occasion to raise awareness of the dangers of starting fires in the countryside,” he said. “The actual damage isn’t as bad as it looks, but it could have been much worse."

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