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Fires in Navarra

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amancio

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the fire seems to be approx 5 miles south of the camino. We have fires in many places now, near Aragonés (Lumbier), and in the Sanabrés Zamora area particularly. VERY HOT DAYS!!!
 
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some and then more. see my signature.
The camino in Navarre region is now closed. We've been advised to take a bus to Logrono.


Be careful.


 
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From El Mundo:
El incendio iniciado a primeras horas de esta tarde en Legarda ha avanzado de forma virulenta a lo largo de las horas pese a los trabajos de los efectivos aéreos y terrestres y ha obligado a desalojar los cascos de varias poblaciones, de forma que ha llegado hasta las cercanías de Puente la Reina.

Así, al desalojo inicial de Legarda (117 habitantes), Obanos (935) y Muruzábal (233) de los que ha informado SOS Navarra, la Guardia Civil añade los del casco de Belascoáin (122) y el "inicio del desalojo de parte de la población" de Puente La Reina, con 2.840 habitantes.
May cooler weather come soon!
 
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lt56ny

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Yikes! Now fires and smoke are another thing for pilgrims/walkers to contend with in addition to the sweltering heat they have been enduring for the past couple of weeks. I never thought I would see the day when I'd be happy to not be walking on the Camino, but today is it.😐
Chrissy for those of us who have the luxury of choosing when we can walk, I think any time between Late May and mid October is now pretty unthinkable. At least for my heat tolerance for walking under halfway pleasant conditions. As I said in another post, I only think things are going to get worse.
 

biarritzdon

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Paul Garland has posted some videos and photos of the fires on FB. Apparently an albegue in Puenta la Reina had to be evacuated by bus and major portions of the Camino in Navarra and the Camino between Estella to Los Arcos are closed. Bus service in some of these area has been discontinued as well.
 

NorthernLight

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Is this a pretty common occurrence for sections of the Camino to be closed due to fire?
Not common, but it does occur from time to time. I walked through fire damaged areas a few weeks after the fire a few years ago. I also watch a fire fighting helicopter in action in the distance on another.
 

biarritzdon

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Reb Scott posted a picture of a large lake near Moratinos that is completely dried up.
 
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Is this a pretty common occurrence for sections of the Camino to be closed due to fire?

It happens sometimes. But I do not remember I have seen it in Navarra before.
 

Macman

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I'm not sure about Spain, but in late June of 2017, Portugal had fires that took many lives. I'd been there a couple of weeks earlier is why I recall that horrific catastrophe.
I also went through about the same time, and was very concerned about the combination of extensive eucalyptus plantations, even among the houses in the smaller towns, with considerable dead and dry material on the ground beneath them, and the strong wind off the Atlantic…
 

makingtrax

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Frances sept 2017!
No, it is not. Well not on the CF anyway.
I don't know the situation in high summer on the Via de la Plata for instance.
There were fires on camino Francis 2019 in Sept/oct period near Samos. Scarey walking alone thru undergrowth.
 

Cyclone

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The guardia civil stopped us just before Pamplona and said the camino was closed after Pamplona. They said we had to wait there until further notice. Now we are hoping and praying for rain! (Also thinking of taking a bus to San Sebastian and continue on Norte instead)
 
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The guardia civil stopped us just before Pamplona and said the camino was closed after Pamplona. They said we had to wait there until further notice. Now we are hoping and praying for rain! (Also thinking of taking a bus to San Sebastian and continue on Norte instead)
The Norte sounds like a nice alternative. I definitely loved it! You will not be disappointed!
 

JabbaPapa

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The Guardia Civil just stopped me and told me to turn around between Estella and Los Arcos, saying the path to Los Arcos is closed because of fire
When I've been in that situation, in France mostly, I've tried to keep informed during approach to the area, slept if needed well outside of it, and generally upwind, considered alternative routes completely avoiding the fire area, and then if necessary taken massive detours to not just keep myself well out of it ; but also ensure that the emergency personnel need waste no time to deal with me.

I do live in a mountainous area where such fires are frequent, so that I may be more aware than some about the precautions, but making sure to keep upwind, including during any potential detour around the fire zone, really is very important.

And if you've gone right or left around it, depending on wind direction, at first opportunity walk away from the fire area, no matter how many extra K that may add to your journey.

And if you're downwind from it ? Turn around immediately, and get to the nearest tarmac or pueblo away from it, then make a 90° turn at best opportunity to get OUT of its potential pathway.

Also, when and if hiking near a fire zone, tarmac, not trail. Because if you do get into some risk if the wind changes or whatever, on tarmac there's a far greater chance of being rescued from it, including preventatively.

And do everything you can to get into open country like fields.
 
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Yikes! Now fires and smoke are another thing for pilgrims/walkers to contend with in addition to the sweltering heat they have been enduring for the past couple of weeks. I never thought I would see the day when I'd be happy to not be walking on the Camino, but today is it.😐
stay safe. walk soft. Samarkand.
 
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I also went through about the same time, and was very concerned about the combination of extensive eucalyptus plantations, even among the houses in the smaller towns, with considerable dead and dry material on the ground beneath them, and the strong wind off the Atlantic…
They will rue the day they planted eucalypts and not just because of the fire risk.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
the fires should be under control by then, as there's only so much that can burn out there.
I haven't heard reports of direct impact on pilgrim hostels, infrastructure, etc. Firefighters are concentrating on protecting buildings, and it's harvest season -- standing grain is very dry. The crop damage will likely be significant.
Navarre certainly won't be so scenic in some parts, but it IS a pilgrimage. And pilgrims take it as it comes.
 

Rebekah Scott

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Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Eucalyptus are pretty much a Portuguese and Galician crop. The terrible fires are in Navarre and Zamora, well away (so far) from Galicia and eucalyptus forests.
Wildfires happen a lot in dry season in Iberia, most often in Galicia, where there seems to be a preponderance of arsonists. I was hospitalera in Orense in 2004, when a huge series of wildfires burned great swathes of Galicia -- we could see the flames and smoke approaching the city, lighting up the night sky, and a troupe of spectacularly good-looking firefighters from faraway Ceuta were quartered in our pilgrim albergue. Helicopters swooped down and scooped water from the river, and the Guardia each morning came to inform pilgrims about the safety of the path ahead.
The Navarre fires, according to press reports, are being sparked by lightning strikes. The grain fields are ripe, dry as a bone. The wind is up. The streams and reservoirs are very low, or dried-up altogether. A bad combination.

Please know that firefighting in Spain is as professional as anywhere in the world, and the safety of pilgrims is paramount. Use common sense. Be flexible. This is all a part of your journey. This too shall pass.
 

Rita Flower

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Yikes! Now fires and smoke are another thing for pilgrims/walkers to contend with in addition to the sweltering heat they have been enduring for the past couple of weeks. I never thought I would see the day when I'd be happy to not be walking on the Camino, but today is it.😐
My heart aches more for our poor planet and the local trees, animals, people and economy impacted by the fires. And the longer term post disaster trauma that comes along with these events.
Yes it's sad for peoples' Camino to be affected but this is also an opportunity for pilgrims to understand that the journey is the goal - and all the challenges along the Way are but opportunities to expand even more into Love and Oneness.
 
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Rita Flower

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They will rue the day they planted eucalypts and not just because of the fire risk.
As an Australian it was interesting to see our native trees in plantation when I walked the Portuguese in 2018. Many of the forests looked sad and were quite silent. Our local forests are full of bird calls and animal scat. It felt somehow wrong.
Later I read how eucalyptus trees in Portugal had impacted the water table, leading to wells drying up and villages being abandoned. And of course the local fauna were not adapted to the trees - hence the silence.
And that's before we consider fires.
 

Rita Flower

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Fires all around Ortega. Stay away from the Camino.
The weather and fires shouldn't come as a surprise. The planet is getting hotter.
As an Australian who experienced the fires in summer of 2019 and their devastating impact on nature, people and economies I urge everyone to not only stay safe but to stay compassionate and connected. Your Camino might be impacted but there will be local people whose whole lives might be devastated.
 

Rita Flower

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Eucalyptus are pretty much a Portuguese and Galician crop. The terrible fires are in Navarre and Zamora, well away (so far) from Galicia and eucalyptus forests.
Wildfires happen a lot in dry season in Iberia, most often in Galicia, where there seems to be a preponderance of arsonists. I was hospitalera in Orense in 2004, when a huge series of wildfires burned great swathes of Galicia -- we could see the flames and smoke approaching the city, lighting up the night sky, and a troupe of spectacularly good-looking firefighters from faraway Ceuta were quartered in our pilgrim albergue. Helicopters swooped down and scooped water from the river, and the Guardia each morning came to inform pilgrims about the safety of the path ahead.
The Navarre fires, according to press reports, are being sparked by lightning strikes. The grain fields are ripe, dry as a bone. The wind is up. The streams and reservoirs are very low, or dried-up altogether. A bad combination.

Please know that firefighting in Spain is as professional as anywhere in the world, and the safety of pilgrims is paramount. Use common sense. Be flexible. This is all a part of your journey. This too shall pass.
Thanks for sharing a wider perspective 🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼
 

Pandre2011

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the fires should be under control by then, as there's only so much that can burn out there.
I haven't heard reports of direct impact on pilgrim hostels, infrastructure, etc. Firefighters are concentrating on protecting buildings, and it's harvest season -- standing grain is very dry. The crop damage will likely be significant.
Navarre certainly won't be so scenic in some parts, but it IS a pilgrimage. And pilgrims take it as it comes.
Thank you for this Rebekah! I felt a little bad even posting. I am worried about my pilgrimage but others are worried about their property and livelihood. May God be with all involved.
 
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Eucalyptus are pretty much a Portuguese and Galician crop. The terrible fires are in Navarre and Zamora, well away (so far) from Galicia and eucalyptus forests.
Wildfires happen a lot in dry season in Iberia, most often in Galicia, where there seems to be a preponderance of arsonists. I was hospitalera in Orense in 2004, when a huge series of wildfires burned great swathes of Galicia -- we could see the flames and smoke approaching the city, lighting up the night sky, and a troupe of spectacularly good-looking firefighters from faraway Ceuta were quartered in our pilgrim albergue. Helicopters swooped down and scooped water from the river, and the Guardia each morning came to inform pilgrims about the safety of the path ahead.
The Navarre fires, according to press reports, are being sparked by lightning strikes. The grain fields are ripe, dry as a bone. The wind is up. The streams and reservoirs are very low, or dried-up altogether. A bad combination.

Please know that firefighting in Spain is as professional as anywhere in the world, and the safety of pilgrims is paramount. Use common sense. Be flexible. This is all a part of your journey. This too shall pass.
Interesting article enclosed. My camino observations are the eucalypts are not in anyway limited to Galicia. The introduction for pulp is not isolated to Spain with very similar negative experiences elsewhere including, for example, well documented in Pakistan. It took over 40,000 years to transform and adapt the Australian ecology to eucalypts with fire stick farming. Climate change aside, the ecological impacts are significant and while not the only cause of forest fires in Spain they are literally a ticking incendiary time bomb.

 
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GettingThere

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Interesting article enclosed. My camino observations are the eucalypts are not in anyway limited to Galicia. The introduction for pulp is not isolated to Spain with very similar negative experiences elsewhere including, for example, well documented in Pakistan. It took over 40,000 years to transform and adapt the Australian ecology to eucalypts with fire stick farming. Climate change aside, the ecological impacts are significant and while not the only cause of forest fires in Spain they are literally a ticking incendiary time bomb.


I had read that eucalyptus was mostly just in Galicia, so was quite shocked when trundling along from west to east on the FEVE line in 2019 to see them frequently, plantation after plantation, through Asturias and Cantabria. All close to the coast and possibly not much further inland, but definitely much more extensive than I had previously understood. I agree about the ticking time timebomb. Eucalyptus are beautiful in their native setting, but that isn't Spain. Planted in such large numbers so close to areas of high population density, it's not just the risk to homes and businesses that may be damaged or destroyed by fire (with the potential for lives to be lost both among local communities and firefighters) but the health effects of smoke drifting over large areas. And of course the loss of biodiversity as mentioned in the article.

Of course none of this relates to the current fires in Navarra, but nonetheless it's a sobering issue.
 

LesR

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I'm not sure about Spain, but in late June of 2017, Portugal had fires that took many lives. I'd been there a couple of weeks earlier is why I recall that horrific catastrophe.
Both Spain and Portugal had fires October 2017 - I walked past a fire on the way into Tricastella, and pilgrims were asked to delay leaving town the next morning until full light, presumably so that they did not walk into a fire situation. As it turned out,there was no immediate danger, but we did walk through some burnt areas- postings here indicated that at least one small fire was the consequence of a (pilgrim's) discarded cigarette butt (mob cam footage as proof).
 

markmcilroy

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In October 2017 there were a lot of fires around the CF. These 3 short clips are from the trail between Triacastela and Samos when I literally walked through a forest fire that no one knew about. There were no police or firefighters about warning not to walk on the trail as they were unable to keep up with the fires. I think by memory a lot of the fires were started by an arsonist. Apologies for the mild swearing but it was a little freaky as I was totally alone and the next pilgrim after me arrived in Samos about 4 hours after I did.
View attachment 254140219_859628604723826_8144389354940156134_n.mp4



View attachment 248374757_940011630056099_529101554421990885_n.mp4
View attachment 249817670_991667551390229_5819393595984229873_n.mp4
 

LesR

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In October 2017 there were a lot of fires around the CF. These 3 short clips are from the trail between Triacastela and Samos when I literally walked through a forest fire that no one knew about. There were no police or firefighters about warning not to walk on the trail as they were unable to keep up with the fires. I think by memory a lot of the fires were started by an arsonist. Apologies for the mild swearing but it was a little freaky as I was totally alone and the next pilgrim after me arrived in Samos about 4 hours after I did.
View attachment 128019



View attachment 128020
View attachment 128021
Seems you walked through the day before I did...

Please note that these are ground fires adn not necessarily a threat to life or limb if one is sensible. However, should the fire gets into the crown (and it won't necessarily), especially of the eucalypt trees, that is dangerous and definitely to be avoided!
 

mattythedog

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2022
I'm not sure about Spain, but in late June of 2017, Portugal had fires that took many lives. I'd been there a couple of weeks earlier is why I recall that horrific catastrophe.
Yes, late September 2017 year I walked CF, and leaving Ponferrada what looked like fog enveloped the distant mountains. While walking the 30 km hill from Villafranca del Bierzo to O Cebreiro, I noticed helicopters flying to the north. As I trekked, the smoke got thicker and choppers closer until I could actually see the flames 100-200 meters through the woods. Choppers were dropping suppressant. Good thing Camino was not downwind!!
 
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piparnold

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We have just arrived in Roncesvall;es to be told at reception that the Camino is closed for the next three days in this part of Navarra due to fires. Does anyone have a website I can find with further information or knowledge of the closure?
 

biarritzdon

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Diario de Navarra is covering the fires and Paul Garland is posting photos and videos on FB. As of Sunday it was closed from Pamplona to Los Arcos.
 

piparnold

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Camino Frances 19/6
Thanks Biarritzdon, no real updates on the Diario website and fires seem further east, will wait for an update.
 

amancio

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It seems to be in the area near Puente la Reina and Los Arcos, if you are in Roncesvalles today, you should be fine, you still have a couple of days to make it to Pamplona. Once you are in the city, you will be able to gather more information, I would say Pamplona would be a good spot to spend an extra day and enjoy some GOOD pintxos (tapas).
 
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Hotpotatoes1977

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I walked from Villamayor de Montjardin to past Los Arcos this morning fine. Lots of burnt ground and hillside but the fire had been brought under control. Nothing burnt after Los Arcos. Obviously things can change but just giving my experience of today. This site is useful, just tick the two live fire boxes to see current updates https://effis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/apps/effis_current_situation/
 

Kathar1na

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We have just arrived in Roncesvall;es to be told at reception that the Camino is closed for the next three days in this part of Navarra due to fires. Does anyone have a website I can find with further information or knowledge of the closure?
There are appeals in the regional news and on Twitter by the Navarra Police and the Navarra Firefighters that pilgrims should stay put and stay out of the way. Here is just one of them (Policia Foral = Police of Navarra):

 

Ianinam

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The officiel announcement in Roncesvalles now is as follows: pilgrims can walk until Pamplona at their own risk: no help available as all emergency services are now in the area after Pamplona. Pilgrims will beinformed when they arrive in Pamplona. They have to stop there, and will be able to arrange transport to Logroño. Tomorrow afternoon there will be an update. Rain is expected within three days.
 

Kathar1na

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We have just arrived in Roncesvall;es to be told at reception that the Camino is closed for the next three days in this part of Navarra due to fires. Does anyone have a website I can find with further information or knowledge of the closure?

And this is from the Government of Navarra, published on their website and repeated in regional news:

Asimismo, pide a los peregrinos que recorren el camino de Santiago que, por las mismas razones, permanezcan en los albergues.
For the same reasons [referring to restrictions for the local population] pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago are asked to stay in the albergues.

This was published yesterday 19 July: https://www.navarra.es/es/-/la-situ...do-muy-complicada?pageBackId=363032&back=true
 
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Kathar1na

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And what @Ianinam who is a frequent and experienced volunteer at the Roncesvalles albergue and who has excellent knowledge of what's going on has announced in an earlier post is official. Again from the website of the Government of Navarra, published today 20th June:

The Emergency Advisory Committee (Comité Asesor de Emergencias) has ratified the decree that pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago must remain in the albergues and that, in any case, they must use the bus if they do not wish to be delayed.

Follow official orders for Navarra and don't go by private opinion and private advice on social media platforms. In case you don't know: Navarra covers the whole distance of the Camino Francés from Roncesvalles to Logroño. That's Roncesvalles-Pamplona-Puente la Reina-Estella-Los Arcos-Logroño.
 
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Rick from Ohio

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Frances
Not common, but it does occur from time to time. I walked through fire damaged areas a few weeks after the fire a few years ago. I also watch a fire fighting helicopter in action in the distance on another.

We have just arrived in Roncesvall;es to be told at reception that the Camino is closed for the next three days in this part of Navarra due to fires. Does anyone have a website I can find with further information or knowledge of the closure?
We left Roncesvalles this morning & are in Zubiri. We are all asking about the next days, but no official news and no problems (except blisters & site muscles.
 

Lost Pilgrims

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I'm not sure about Spain, but in late June of 2017, Portugal had fires that took many lives. I'd been there a couple of weeks earlier is why I recall that horrific catastrophe.
We walked the Portuguese camino in September 2017 and saw the results of the fires that happened that summer. There were many forested areas that had been burned. We were able to walk through them but it was clear that the fires had been bad.
 
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MikeyC

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My camino observations are the eucalypts are not in anyway limited to Galicia. The introduction for pulp is not isolated to Spain with very similar negative experiences elsewhere including, for example, well documented in Pakistan.

I lived in Brazil for many years and remember how the forestry companies were developing eucalyptus plantations. If I recall correctly growing conditions were so favourable that a tree could be harvested after 3-4 years.
I just checked to see how extensive eucalyptus had become in Brazil - planted area is the equivalent of the country of Ireland! Not surprising the country has some of the biggest producers and exporters of pulp and related products.
 

mstugart

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Glad to hear rain has come and thanks to those of you sharing information! My husband and I are slated to start in Saint Jean on July 6. Mostly posting this hoping I get notified of future updates.
 

ivar

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Glad to hear rain has come and thanks to those of you sharing information! My husband and I are slated to start in Saint Jean on July 6. Mostly posting this hoping I get notified of future updates.
In Santiago things are not warm at all, and it has been raining. But I am not sure this is the case in Navarra. I saw on the news that it is better there now, but not a lot of rain yet (as far as I could see). It is getting better there, but they would need some rain for this to be totally over.
 
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Rick from Ohio

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Frances
Today a large group of pilgrims walked from Pamplona to Puente la Reina (including me). The local hospitaleros and others all said the fires were out and they would walk (if they were on pilgrimage).
One shop owner had even been in contact with the municipal & Navarre police, and the Guarda Civil because he had been asked so many times. He also called friends along the route to see what was happening.
His conclusion: walk.
The earlier hours of walking revealed it had rained in Pamplona and the surrounding area.
At Alto de Perdón, the Guarda Civil arrived & we all were curious what they'd say. They said everything was fine & it was good to walk again.
Close to Pamplona we saw little burnt areas. But closer to Puenta de Reina there were much larger swaths that had burned.
 

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8,335
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Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
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8,002
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