Wildfire Mesocco, Switzerland patches of burnt forest floor

Wildfire Mesocco, Switzerland patches of burnt forest floor.
Several extensive and fast spreading forest fires rage in southern Switzerland, the first of them started on Tuesday night, Dec. 27th, 2016 in the mountains above the towns of Mesocco and Soazza, in the canton of Grison, Switzerland. One more forest fire started in the nearby Calanca valley. A further wildfire in the Leventina valley several dozen kilometers distance was immediately declared to be caused be a campfire of four careless teenagers.

No particular causes other then dry conditions and winds have been proposed for the other two locations. (winds were indeed moderate on site, no high wind speeds were recorded in the models of the Meterological Institute)

Here are a few images, all taken on the 28th, at the lower edges of the damage area above Mesocco, where a few spots of forest floor were still smoldering but no trees had been scorched. The patches of black soot seem to have been caused by water being dropped from fire fighter helicopters that were provided by the military, possibly washing ash out of the sky, as the fire in the higher altitudes were consuming large numbers of trees.

However, it is noteworthy that this usually does not leave sharply divided patches of blackened ground and the blackened leaves and soil were completely dry. No twigs near the ground were scorched in this area, isolated tree roots were smoldering, surrounded by white ash.

According to reports by the newspaper Tagesanzeiger, several houses were evacuated due to rock falls.

All in all, the scene of the lower area of the fires appear to be the result of an influx of energy or fire accelerants form above, reminiscent of the accounts of the Peshtego and Chicago fires of 1871.

Wildfire Mesocco, Switzerland, smoldering tree root, all surrounding trees and bushes intact

Wildfire Mesocco, Switzerland, smoldering tree root, all surrounding trees and bushes intact.
Forestfire Mesocco, blackened ground all surrounding trees intact

Forestfire Mesocco, blackened ground all surrounding trees intact.
Wildfire Mesocco, Switzerland isolated patches of burnt forest floor

Wildfire Mesocco, Switzerland isolated patches of burnt forest floor.

Wildfire Mesocco, soil and leavese burnt, dry grass left intact

Wildfire Mesocco, soil and leavese burnt, dry grass left intact.

Wildfire Mesocco, burnt forest ground

Wildfire Mesocco, burnt forest ground.