- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Czech National Park of České Švýcarsko Witnesses Remarkable Natural Recovery Post-Forest Fire
In the wake of a devastating forest fire that swept through the Czech National Park of České Švýcarsko, a heartening tale of nature’s resilience is emerging. The park is witnessing an impressive recovery as nature takes the reins in restoring the vegetation. Burnt areas are gradually transforming into vibrant green spaces, primarily adorned with ferns, mosses, and thriving birch trees.
Tomáš Salov, spokesperson for the national park, underscores nature’s innate ability to cope with such events, noting that it has “thousands of years of experience with fire.” He explains that the regeneration of vegetation doesn’t surprise him, as he’s observed similar recoveries in other parts of the park that have previously been affected by wildfires. While the phenomenon is not unexpected, Salov concedes that the spectacle remains “amazing.”
Even as smoke continues to linger in some burnt areas, both experts and visitors are witnessing the spontaneous resurgence of vegetation. The recovery process unfolds at a remarkable pace. Tomáš Salov points out that herbs with deep roots, like hawkweed, were among the first to resurface. Subsequently, mushrooms and grasses made their appearance, followed by the prevalence of the moss species Polytrichum commune, imparting a unique golden-green hue to the landscape.
Despite nature’s remarkable restoration, forest rangers continue to uncover abandoned or negligently extinguished fires. Tomáš Salov emphasizes the pivotal role of forest rangers in safeguarding the park against future wildfires. However, he acknowledges that the current number of active rangers is insufficient, given the park’s expanse of approximately 350 square kilometers. Salov asserts that the decision to bolster the ranks of professional nature rangers rests with the government.
The resurgence of vegetation holds the potential to positively impact the forest’s composition, fostering natural selection processes and contributing to a more resilient ecosystem capable of withstanding the challenges posed by climate change. The verdant revival is a source of marvel for park visitors, like Lukáš Černý, who expressed both sadness for the burnt trees and admiration for nature’s magical recuperation.
While forest rangers are essential to this conservation effort, their numbers are insufficient for effective protection. Rainy weather in recent days has offered some reprieve, enabling rangers to resume their crucial roles, from supporting visitors to maintaining public infrastructure and monitoring wildlife. Their contribution, often underestimated, plays a vital role in ensuring the practical conservation of the park, beyond just theoretical measures on paper.
Article by Prague Forum