The devastating fire that devastates the Sierra Bermeja area, in Malaga, is already being the worst in the history of Spain, due to the amount of hectares destroyed, more than 7,000, and due to the immense difficulties that emergency teams are having to fight them.
According to what scholars of the behavior of fire have assured this Monday, that of Malaga is a fire of the so-called sixth generation. Their main characteristic is that they are capable of modify the weather around you by various factors such as smoke or dimensions. Also, their behavior is erratic, which undoubtedly poses the greatest difficulty in combating them.
One example is enough to understand the almost impossibility of fighting them: the enormous dimensions of its perimeter raises the temperature so much that the water discharged on the flames by airplanes and helicopters has little effect on the flames as it evaporates before reaching them. .
For this reason, the nearly a thousand firefighters, members of the UME and volunteers who have been fighting for the last six days in Malaga against the Sierra Bermeja fire, feel enormous helplessness when they see that all their strength and energy that they are using to grieve are useless. .
The concept generation applied to fires means that their behavior has evolved in recent decades. They are closely related to forest abandonment and climate change. The combination of both factors makes these fires increasingly intense and violent. The sixth generation fires, the most recent and destructive, are capable of producing their own clouds, which are the feared pyrocumulus, for this reason we commented that they are capable of modifying the meteorology.
Pyrocumulus is a type of cumuliform cloud that is produced by fire or volcanic activity. They have a dynamic similar in certain respects to firestorms, and both phenomena can occur simultaneously. However, they also happen separately and differ for your individual study.
The spokeswoman for the Forests program of the WWF organization, María Melero, warns that these “sixth generation” fires such as the one in Sierra Bermeja in Malaga are “virulent” phenomena and difficult to control, which endanger both the environment and the human lives and are linked to climate change.
The “special” conditions of its development and its “aggressiveness” have been what has given it the name of “sixth generation”, since, in this specific case, there have been “very erratic and changing behaviors in the fire “, Which is” very dangerous “for the population and the means of extinction.
According to Melero, these superfires are characterized by “very particular” conditions compared to the so-called “big fires” (those that exceed 500 hectares), due to the formation of “pyrocumulus”, which are powerful columns of hot air that they give off with enough force to produce “their own clouds.”
The WWF ecologist has explained to EFEverde that, in addition, these pyrocumuli cause the spread of firecrackers, that is, ashes that fall at a great distance and that “can generate new fires”, which makes the extinction “much more complicated” .
These conditions make the fire “almost impossible” to put out regardless of the means of extinction.
Aggression and virulence are two of the characteristics of these fires, which have already occurred in other countries such as Portugal, Chile, Australia or California. The Sierra Bermeja case has destroyed more than 7,000 hectares of forest to date.