The Biebrza Wetlands are a grand monument to nature: one of the very few in Europe and comparable to the Pripet Marshes in Belarus, or the Danube Delta in Romania.
Another fire in the Biebrza Valley might turn out to be the last extinguishable one. Although the April fire caused immense damage, it didn’t reach the peat layers deep in the ground. Such disaster would probably mean the end of the area’s hydrological system, which has been developing here for thousands of years. And there is no guarantee that next time we will be so lucky. The marsh fire is practically inextinguishable: it smoulders deep in the ground for weeks or even months.
Only long-lasting heavy rainfalls and a snowy winter can put the fire down – and it seems unlikely that we will observe either of these this year.
An excerpt from Jędrzej Wojnar’s article All the Colours of Biebrza