Have you ever seen this photo??? This photo was sold as a souvenir at the park for a while as a black and white style postcard. If you have ever picked up a Selvatica brochure or have been to the "Meet the Staff" page on the Selvatica website, you would have seen this photo. You might be wondering, "Why is the staff posing with a big yellow fire truck instead of something more to do with zip lining?" Well it's because this was one of the most memorable photos ever taken at Selvatica. This photo represents the strength, courage and persistence of our Selvatica Family who bravely fought to save the park from a jungle fire!
One day during the very hot, very dry month of May 2009, one of the staff members mentioned to the park manger that they had gotten a whiff of something burning. Being in the jungle, fifteen kilometers from the main highway, you could imagine that this would be serious cause for alarm. So the park manager and a couple staff members quickly climbed to the tree house where the first zip line begins to get a better look, maybe see where the smell of smoke was coming from. It was apparent at first sight that there was something major happening within 5 kilometers and that action needed to be taken right away!
As the fire began inching closer and closer to the park, the team knew that they would need a great plan and some serious muscle. So here is how it went down...One of the owners of the park commissioned a D9 bulldozer and the team got to work clearing a path. They decided that by clearing a path-like area through the jungle it would remove the fuel source that the fire needed to continue burning. This is a typical method used to prevent fires from advancing in a particular direction. By clearing that area of the jungle it also provided access for the fire truck. Then they began to strategically set small control fires in accordance to the direction of the wind hoping that the two fires would meet and it would "sandwich" the fire out.
After almost a week of fighting the fire, smoke and heat, the team was finally feeling like they had the upper hand. With the fire less than 3 kilometers from the park the winds began to change direction. Could this have been the miracle they needed? The fire began to burn toward the control fires and eventually it ran out of fuel. The plan had worked and the fire was dying down. It looked like the park and everyone was going to be OK. In total the fire consumed approximately 6 square kilometers of jungle! That was definitely a close call!
|Our First Plantlet|
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To see more photos from the fire you can visit our Facebook page Selvatica-The Adventure Kingdom.
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