How to live with mega-fires? Portugal’s feral forests may hold the secret.

Indian Ocean Dipole: What is it and why is it linked to floods and bushfires? Full story: Image credit: Getty Images


Build Resilience, Manage Stress, Prevent Burnout

I talk about these subjects a lot, but there’s some good reasons for that.

Modern living is more often than not stressful living – always on the go, doing multiple things at once, never really resting whilst doing your best for everyone around you, working excessive hours, “on” all the time through technology, limited relaxation, less sleep than ever before, reduced nourishment from food and relationships….. and so on.

Our reality is that we tend to lead stressful lives, yet haven’t become a society that are masters of resilience. This only leads us in one direction – ill-health of some kind and potentially burnout. I wrote recently about the hidden costs of stress– you may recognise some of these things….


How to live with mega-fires? Portugal’s feral forests may hold the secret.

When the speeding BMW emerged out of the smoke of burning eucalyptus trees, heading straight for her firetruck, Filipa Rodriguez had no time to react. “I had time only to think, ‘We’re going to crash,’” she says, massaging the burn marks on her arms, and then the car plowed into them, and the five volunteer firefighters stumbled out from their ruined truck into an inferno.

It was high summer in 2017, and they had just crossed into the outer bands of the worst firestorm to ever hit Portugal, a presage for a new age of mega-fire that would soon stalk across landscapes from Spain to Australia. Rodriguez, then 24, stepped outside and her safety goggles immediately melted to her face; as she ripped them off, skin came with them. She blinked through the smoke at eucalyptus trees flying by, burning, in the winds of the biggest flames she had ever seen….

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