Following the springing up on environmental tree-hugging social media sites of groups planning to meet in order to plant trees in the fire gutted areas of Soleas, the Forestry Department Thursday requested the public to refrain from the practice saying it could do more harm than good.
After thanking the public for their support and contribution to fighting the fires which claimed the lives of two firemen the department announced that: “Given the risks posed by the uncontrolled use of improper planting materials, and the fact that we are outside the planting season, the Forestry Department request the public to immediately cease any tree planting in the area” adding that there would be ample opportunity to help with the re-forestation of the area following the preparation of a post-fire management plan.
The process, which will begin within a month, would determine the appropriate methods and plant species to be used. The planting season in the forests is between October and March.
The department emphasised there was still a grave risk of fires re-igniting in the areas which are still classed as dangerous.
Around 15 square kilometres of forest were destroyed in the region from the accidental fire which broke out on Sunday.