Around 180,000 square metres of Maltese woodland was lost over the weekend after a massive blaze burned through the area, obliterating flora and fauna indiscriminately.
A sizeable number of animals is believed to have been lost in the fire, including animals like chameleons.
And while it is as yet unknown just how many trees were lost in the fire, with official reports saying a “large number”, the affected area amounts to 20 times that of Floriana’s Granaries (il-Fosos)
This blaze is believed to have been the largest fire to hit Malta in decades
Among the trees were species such as Gum Trees, Aleppo Pine, and invasive species of Olive trees and the Blue-leaved Wattle.
At least 16 firefighters were needed to contain the fire around the clock on Saturday and Sunday. By Monday, parts of the burned land still smouldered.
It is as yet unknown what led to the fire.
It is being reported that, according to some sources, a possible cause of the fire was the uncontrolled burning of pruned branches in a nearby field
The dry grass in the woodland easily caught fire, and, under the hot summer sun, patches of burnt land kept catching fire throughout the weekend. In addition to this, many highly flammable species, such as pine and eucalyptus trees, added to the inferno.
Firefighters indicated that if they had left the site over the weekend, the fire would have spread much further. Indeed, they said that if it weren’t for some random dirt roads and paths that acted as natural barriers, the blaze might have spread even further inland.
An official police investigation into the blaze has been opened to ascertain the reason for the fire starting.
Cover photo: Victor Mercieca
Cover photo inset left: TVM
Cover photo inset right: One News