Sign Language: Don’t Shoot the Messenger!


Fire is a serious hazard on a island covered with pine trees in the hot, dry summer. And Spetses has had its share of massive, destructive fires in the last fifteen years.

The message προσοχe κίνδυνος πυρκαγιάς στο δάσος means “Warning. Danger of Forest Fires.” The signs, posted all over the island, are a reminder that human carelessness is a major cause of forest fires. However, not many signs remain. Most are fallen, rusted beyond recognition or — ironically — burned in one of the many forest fires over recent years.  On a recent hike, we spotted this rare example of one that is still in relatively good condition.   To add to the neglect, this sign is peppered with bullet holes.  I’m guessing this is not as a statement of dissent from pyromaniacs, just winter hunters carelessly using them as target practice.  Not very a respectful gesture towards an important environmental message. As we finally watch the baby pines regrow after the great fire of 2000, which destroyed 2/3’s of the trees on the island, perhaps its time to get some new signs up?

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