Mýrar on fire

When wetland area went up in fire 2006

Inhabitants in the Mýrar area and Borgarnes now remember that  there are almost 8 years since a large grass fire burned down area around 67 square kilometres in  March 30th to April 1st in 2006. This fire is the largest one ever recorded since Iceland was settled. The fire went 14 km from the starting point down to the sea in few hours. The fires were visible on satellite from Iceland.  Now some people may ask how can a wetland like this go up in fire?

Dry season and much wind turned a small fire in to a destructive monster. The area has one of the oldest bedrock in Iceland and was after ice age 10.000 years ago, under water for thousands of years. It has never dried up like parts of the country higher up and remains like a swamp all the way down to the ice age bedrock. This is one of the largest wetlands area remaining on Iceland´s lowland. It is rather difficult to grow domestic animals but farming on the Mýrar area is known since the days of settlement. The flora and fauna is rich and small bushes grow in the wetland called Icelandic birch. 

The inhabitants on Mýrar have held a festival almost each year since to remember these scary days and celebrate that no one got killed during these four difficult days in March/April 2006, or injured and how everyone worked together as one to turn off the fast moving fire. The nature is wild, it is a power we some times can control. We should keep that in mind and always respect it.

Mýrar on fire

It is a great tour to drive from Egils Guesthouse down to the wetland and enjoy bird life and take a walk on the sandy beaches. The view to the mountains is breathtaking from the lowland.

 

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