Portugal rising from the ashes

In Portugal, huge swathes of agricultural land were abandoned by owners, making way for vast forest areas. As the country’s paper industry is well-established and hugely profitable, intensive monoculture of maritime pine and eucalyptus trees developed rapidly. Although crucial to papermaking, eucalyptus trees are also very invasive and highly flammable. Portugal has experienced some major heatwaves over the past few years, which have caused a surge in major forest fires that are increasingly intense, destructive and lethal. For the Yves Rocher Foundation, Spanish photographer Juan Manuel Castro Prieto, member of the VU agency, visited the forests affected in the region of Monchique in the south of the country, to document the devastation left behind and meet the people doing all they can to bring the fires to an end. With his distinctive style midway between documentary and artistic photography, Castro Prieto brings a human touch to these fire-ravaged environments.

In partnership with the Yves Rocher Foundation

Photo gallery