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Saturday, 22 July 2017

FURTHER UPDATE ON THE STATE OF TRAILS

The fires have continued  relentlessly all week, although fortunately the latest  have been smaller and more rapidly dominated. The Amalfi Coast road has re-opened following its closure due to the risk of falling rocks. From the photos of the rocks that were dislodged, it was a very good job that it was closed. Hopefully when the first rain arrives, this will limit the risk of any more coming down.
Meantime Giovanni Visetti went up to Santa Maria del Castello to investigate the state of the trails around there and in particular the Forestale. The news is not good. This is what he says:
"The situation, bad enough as it is,  is even worse from a hiker's point of view . In fact, many of the trees, still standing but already weakened and burnt by fires from previous years, have now fallen across the path making it virtually impassable. Certainly the more agile and enterprising will manage to climb over or around them, but  not without getting scratched and covered in soot".
Giovanni himself, who is lithe and athletic but not so keen on getting dirty, managed to walk just a few hundred metres to the Forestale and roughly the same distance to Erbatenera. The eastern slopes of Valle Pozzo beneath Santa Maria del Castello have burnt, whilst higher up it is the western slopes that have gone up in smoke. Further on, the fire has spared nothing, right up to Conocchia and Sant'Angelo a Tre Pizzi (Molare, Canino & Catiello). 
The morning of Giovanni's reconnaissance there was just one small fire to the west of the cross of Vagnulo and towards midday the helicopter arrived. He had a bit of a surprise when he came across  a removable swimming pool beside the short path connecting the road to the belvedere at Santa Maria. It was not there for the locals to have a refreshing dip but to enable the helicopters to load up more quickly with the water  to put out the fires.
In all this bleakness there is however some good news  - the fire did not extend to the west of Positano (Monte Comune and Capodacqua) and here all is intact. Let's hope that it remains that way!





Photos courtesy of Giovanni's blog

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