AFTER THE FIRE: Wildfires and Soil Conservation


      Raising environmental awareness on fire disturbances through Soil Painting Competition                               

 GAL-Rosalia    ES-Cervantes 


In October 2017, fueled by heat and wind conditions linked to hurricane Ophelia, a bout of wildfires raised public alarm as the number of human lives and material assets lost increased. To celebrate World Soil Day, and since this year’s theme, “Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground”, matched our goals, the Biology and Geology Department of IES Pontepedriña organized informative, research, and awareness activities. As a motivating and central activity, we organized an entry into the “Soil painting competition”. Through our entry we wanted to convey the destruction of vegetation and soil while at the same time emphasizing the post-fire efforts by several groups to mitigate its effects.

Cooperating with us is Rafael Zas, who conducts research in forest ecology for the Galician Biological Mission (CSIC). We also had the support of a group of volunteer citizens from the municipality of Pontecaldelas, whose population and homes were endangered on the night of October 15. This volunteers later employed mulching techniques to mitigate the impact of the fires in areas more prone to erosion.

World Soil Day was the starting point for the project “After the Fire”, but we shifted the celebration to the 30 of November for organizational reasons. Previously, we had our event registered in FAO-WSD site. We had t have already  On that day the mural would be painted in a visible area of the high school, surrounded by a photo exhibition that would be on display for several weeks. We also organized talks like “The wildfires in Galicia: a complex issue conditioned by unfounded opinions”, in which Rafael Zas discussed the environmental aspects and analysis of the causes of wildfires, and Gloria Bustingorri explained the organization of the post-fire tasks of volunteers.

We organized two teams among the 14-15 year old students in their 3rd and 4th years of secondary school (E.S.O.). One of the teams, lead by Estela Pintos of the Art department, focused on preparing vegetable and soil-based pigments for the design of the mural and on its realization in a public space. A second team, led by Anxa Novo of the Technology department, was in charge of recording the process, including a time-lapse video of the making of the mural for the FAO competition. In addition, there was a third group of students who performed the music for the video.

Besides the outings to gather soil samples for the pigments, which were among the preparatory activities that took place in November, we organized a field trip to the burned areas guided by forest researchers and forest rangers. Both teams learned about the issues related to wildfires, took pictures, held interviews and gathered ash and charcoal to be used in the making of the mural.

After been awarded first prize in January,  we completed additional awareness raising activities, highlighting the presentations by our award-winning students. The project is still going on, with additional  activities  scheduled for the next school year.

  • In December 2017 (before FAO-GSP had anounced the winners) we organized the germination of  Quercus seeds on the lab to be planted in the next autumn, activity carried out  by most of our 12-13 year old students. At that moment, the Spanish Society of Soil Science (SECS) was showing great interest in our project and we began collaborations with them with our first publication and scheduling new talks.
  • In collaboration with the Galician Section of the SECS we organized a second talk “Post-fire hydrological and forest recovery”, by Agustin Blond from the Forest Service in the  Rural Affairs Department -Xunta de Galicia.
  • The first presentation was conducted in May 14, it was targeted to a group of visiting students from Bembibre secondary school. The second played out in June 13 was a presentation of our project to the media, participating soil science researchers and authorities of the Xunta de Galicia (including both Education and Rural Affairs ministers).

Project coordination: Nicolás Lucas, Biology and Geology Department

  Banner 2017 EN


IES PONTEPEDRIÑA's project is awarded first prize in FAO International Competition !!  


The FAO Global Soil Partnership announced the winners of the World Soil Day 2017 FAO Pontepedriña first classified
Web FAO - World Soil Day Web FAO - Global Soil Partnership

 We gatecrash Ivy League, sharing podium with Cornell University! Guiño

<< RisaRisa


 *        After the Fire_Despois do lume_(FAO-Pontepedriña)



Events aroubd the globe

  WSD 2017 Events around the Globe in pictures  (7 pages)
      (link to entire photobook a documento completo )



  <<< VIDEO submitted to 



    Award-winning picture  (click to enlarge image)

Painting process in a timelapse video   >>


Timelapse by Nicolás Lucas / Music by Pedro Lucas

    Banner 2017 EN






World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC) / Fire Impacts and Soil Painting: A Teaching Project, Hot News 02, 2018, pp.6-13

LandCare for the Future - Conference / Abstract / Book of Abstracts / Poster /



  LA VOZ DE GALICIA  (Local / regional  NEWSPAPER)

  • (10/01/2018) "El IES Pontepedriña gana un concurso de la FAO..."
  • (14/06/2018) "El mural de ceniza y tierra del monte gallego vencedor en el certamen de la FAO..."

  TVG (GALICIAN PUBLIC TELEVISION, Regional) Telexornal mediodía (Midday News).

  • (15/01/2018) "O IES da Pontepedriña, premiado pola FAO por un traballo sobre os incendios"
  • (13/06/2018) "Os alumnos do IES Pontepedriña dan unha lección de arte e bioloxía a través dun mural"

   CORREO TV (local TELEVISION, newspaper-linked) News

  • (13/06/2018) Un traballo sobre os lumes, Premio  FAO para o IES Pontepedriña.

   RADIO VOZ.  (13/01/2018) Voces de Santiago (Local / regional  RADIO STATION)

    SOCIAL MEDIA, summarized in this dossier on MEDIA IMPACT



Press releases in official sites

  • (13/06/2018) CONSELLERÍA de EDUCACIÓN (Ministry of Education)
  • (13/06/2018) CONSELLERÍA de MEDIO RURAL (Ministry of Rural Affairs)
  • (14/06/2018) CONSELLERÍA DE POLITICA SOCIAL. Dirección Xeral de Xuventude, Participación e Voluntariado. (Ministry ofSocial Policy - Youth,    Participation and volunteering Directorate).

>>>>>>  Xornais dixitais (e-NEWSPAPERS)  >>>>>>>>>>>>




Noticia en Telexornal La Voz 2018-01-10



Entrevista RadioVoz

Interview in RadioVoz-- (audio mp3) "Voces de Compostela", Thursday 18/01/2018 (from 1:41:53)

Midday News (Telexornal) TVG      15/01/2017 Newspaper-article (La Voz de Galicia)    10/01/2018  
tvg 2018-06-13 La Voz 14/06/2018 Correo TV  13/06/2018
Midday News (Telexornal) TVG      13/06/2018 Newspaper-article (La Voz de Galicia)    14/06/2018 Piece of news and video in CorreoTV   13/06/2018


FAO-WSD Plenary Assembly


GSP sixth PLENARY ASSEMBLY - Global Soil Partnership

(11-13 June, FAO HQ, Rome)

GSP Plenary news-SECS







Filmmaker's team (ESO4) coordinated by ANXA NOVO:                               LOIS MORÓN, DANIEL MÉNDEZ, ARTUR VÁZQUEZ e LAURA CAEIRO


 > Youngest trio (ESO3) among painter's team: IRENE GARCÍA, IRIA FEBRERO, SILVIA FUENTES.

  Sampling in an amphibolite-soil profile near Viso, Compostela


  Preparing soil-derived pigments
 04a_Taller02_2133  04b taller mesa preparada

ESTELA PINTOS (Art and Design Department) has new ideas and materias ready to test in every break for three weeks in November


 primeiras probas trío

Irene, Silvia and  Iria during first tests with edaphic pigments


Figurative designs had been evaluated as well >>




  FIELD TRIP to PONTECALDELAS  (24  November 2017)


  Pontecaldelas, first sensations over a burnt area


 2017_FAO_06c-Pontecaldelas-Verdugo  socalcos
Fire crossed the Verdugo river through a belt od mimosa (Acacia dealbata); it's an invasive alien species, whose seeds are triggered to germinate
en masse following fires

 The little village is located on the top of the forested slope. This woodland was quite recent: the trace of the stone walls are visible now, showing the terraced farmland abandoned during 1960's migration of the local population.


 tripodes con Anxa  tripodes con Rafa

 Getting ready to register Dr. Rafael Zas explanations, from MBG-CSIC


axente foreestal, por alá
07d mandíbula calcinada

Willdfires devastate more that the visible vegetation, they also damage fauna...


 07e cambisol queimado



 <<<   ... and soils, like this cambisol


 08c carballera, baixa severidade, plana

Fire severity was low in sections of an oak grove where the canopy has survived; the falling leaves create a natural mulch covering. It's nearly level, so the little slope is going to limit water erosion as well .


2017_FAO_08a-Pontecaldelas_pinocha-mulching 08b piñeiral baixa pendente, acículas
  Needles decaying from pine trees spread over the soil and prevent water erosion (detail)

    Soil erosion risk is also low in this section of the pine wood: gently slope and pine needle covering



Research results have shown that straw mulching is the most adecuate procedure to mitigate after-fire soil erosion in Galicia, specially where vulnerability is higher as in steep slope areas.


In order to reduce soil erosion caused by surface runoff, local environmental volunteers have spread straw mulch

Preparations for recording an interview with RAFA ZAS 


Artur claps to allow audio synchronisation



 15-16 years oll students (4ºESO) had previouly discussed the questions to be posed during the  interview; coordination by MARILÓ LAGARÓN (Galician language dept.)

Laura and Cristina



 REHEARSAL  (29 November 2017)


Painting rehearsal at reduced scale; materials, techniques and secuence of paint layers to apply.

Painting should be a flowing process, as it is going to get registered in a video through a a sequence of photographs (time-lapse)

To set the frecuency shooting in the camera, we had estimated the painting process will last two hours and a half.



 12a ensai pintando

 12b ensaio, plano xeral  
 13b ensaio / visor camara  


  Celebrating WORLD SOIL DAY: Painting a mural for the  FAO-GSP Soil Painting Competition


 016 Anxa -Nico Cartel WSD  16a cartel WSD
  ANXA and NICO placing the official World Soil Day 2017 poster. Note the camera location for the time-lapse (near the top left corner of the image)
We have used the Portuguese WSD 2014 poster as well
   14a escenario-pinceis

  Attaching the canvas -in fact a foam board- with a wrinkled paper glued on it to obtain the texture needed

18a pegando lenzo


 The five painters, in a white paint suit, grind straw coming from Pontecaldelas mulching to be used in the final step of the painting process. 


The setting is almost completed, although the edges of the canvass have not been covered yet


 Different soil samples to be mixed into glue to made paint, together with autumn leaves to be used during the painting finish. 

The painting team starts at 11:45 hours the underpainting layers. Public (students and teachers in their way to their classrooms) observe from the first and second stages converging in the central hall.


 Finalising the underpainting, it will be ready for the 12:25 hours break;  the job will be interrupted for 20 minutes to ease paint drying: the whole school community would appreciate the work at this point.

   The second part of the painting process begins as 12:45 hours; it includes the utilisation of ash and charcoal collected at                            . Pontecaldelas burnt areas together with straw from  the mulch covering.



Frame 133751 - frame-1337_13h16m



Frame 142052 frame 1420_13h20m

Frame 1642  

Images obtained from the 2468 frame

sequence used to built the time-lapse.


Shooting frecuency had been set to

3 seconds.


53 frame 1642_13h32m



       They  belong to the second stage

       of the painting process; including

       the finishing, when straw from mulching,

      seeds and leaves are disposed.


Frame 2034

54 frame 2034_13h51m


Frame 2260

55 frame -2260_14h02m

Frame 2410

56 - frame 2410_14h10m


After three exhausting weeks using every break for planning, material preparation, discussion and tests,  ESTELA PINTOS  pose with the artists:






 Celebrating World Soil Day : TALKS



32a Charla Rafa 1

 32b charla Rafa 2  
  Rafa analyses the causes of wildfires in Galicia and describe their effects on ecosystems and soils.
Gloria explain some post-fire mitaigation procedures, and describes how did they organise the environmental volunteering field activities at Pontecaldelas.


 The musicians : video score for the Soil Painting Competition


Arrangements for  "Lamento della Ninfa" and guitar: VICTOR BLANCO

Audio recording and edition:  ANTONIO RIVAS



                          CRISTINA SANTAYA , MILAGROS ANGUEIRA (clarinet)


 instrumentistas-insti  instrumentistas-bosque



 December 2017

We tidy up,

the technical team - who study Information Technology with Anxa-  went ahead with the film editing during the remaining two class sessions  before the December long weekend.

We sent everything to FAO  just before the deadline.

Then exams and assessment come; but before ending the term we still had  two days left to germinate oak acorns.


 35a post - mesa taller
    WSD-1  Anxa-Nico- Estela    






(Art and Design)



  Planting acorns

We have organized an oak (Quercus robur) acorn germination

to encourage knowledge and  participation in our project

"After the Fire" and thus widing its impact among the

school community. The activity was aimed to the youger

students: 12-14 years old ((ESO1 and  ESO 2).


These acorns had been gathered in Pontevedra's forests,

near the burnt area que had visited previously; Rafa Zas

supplied them during World Soil Day.


There were a second goal as well: to participate in a symbolic

reforestation during the next school year (autumn, 2018).


 44 landras en macetas

 40 landras 1R  41 landras 1R
 42 landras 1R  43 landras 2R
Lower secondary, level 1  (ESO 1)  Lower secondary, level 2  (ESO 1)  (ESO 2)


GSP pontepedriña winner




APRIL 2018- Our winner painting hanged for permanent exhibition.


The painting is located in the same architectural space

where it had been created. A prior stabilization work have

been necessary, it was conducted by Estela for several



 2018-muraL-4_PB-V-escaleiras-entrada          2018-muraL-2_P1-V-escaleiras





      Talk by Agustín Blond    (25 April 2018)


Agustín is in charge of reforestation in burnt forest areas for the Pontevedra's province. In his talk he explained us how to:

1) Prioritize sections with the highest soil erosion vulnerability, the steep slope areas with high runoff and poor soils.

2) Select convenient species, those likely to survive in these less favourable areas.


3) Select machinery capable of accessing to complicated areas, causing at the same time the minimal impact on soils. 


He also described how to prevent runoff transport of sediments to riverbeds,  therefore avoiding the damages linked to these kind of erosional processes.

            WSD 3a - cartel charla Agustín

 WSD-3 -charla Agustin  WSD 3 Charla público



   Oral presentation of the project:      to students from Bembibre secondary school    (14 May 2018)

WSD 4 Bembibre - Ana presenta

ANA CABALELAS (departamento de Lingua Española) organizara previamente unha xornada literaria para  na que participaría alumnado de 4º ESO do CPI de Bembibre.

Decidimos que os nosos estudantes premiados podían presentar o   proxecto "Despois do Lume" ao alumnado visitante ese mesmo día.

A propia Ana os adestrou para optimizar a presentación oral.


2018 4a Bembibre cartel

 Ana Cabanelas inicia a recepción do alumnado de Bembibre


2018 6a Bembibre -Laura WSD 6b Bembibre Dani WSD 4 Bembibre - Lois
 Laura presents the ecological and edaphic topics  Dani describes  post-fire mitigation procedures
Lois explain details about how the video was made

WSD 5 Bembibre - Laura e Dani

 WSD 4 Bembibre - Paula explica mural

Distribution of the exhibition panels in the building's central hall, to facilitate the oral presentations.

 Cristina and Paula explaining the painting process.

WSD 5 Bembibre - Cris e Paula

WSD9 Bembibre - resposta nena Bembibre
Paula analyzing the winner painting  Speech by a visiting student


  (13 June 2018)

  Oral presentation of the project:    (to the media, soil researchers and governmental authorities  

Dende a Dirección Xeral de Educación manifestóusenos o interese en estar presentes nun acto de presentación do proxecto ante os medios de

    comunicación, no que tamén particíparía o conselleiro. Máis tarde sumaríase ao acto a conselleira de Medio Rural.

Invitamos a representantes da Sociedade Española de Ciencias del Suelo (SECS) e da Universidade de Santiago (USC)  a un acto no que o

    alumnado premiado foi o protagonista.


(1) Dr. NICOLÁS LUCAS, coordinador do proxecto  "Despois do Lume);

     detrás sitúase o alumnado premiado (frecha) que vai intervir

     secuencialmente na presentación.

(2) ESTELA PINTOS, responsable do deseño e coordinación da pintura

   gañadora do "Concurso de Pintura con Solos, FAO  2017).



(3) ANA CABANELAS, colaborou na preparación das presentacións orais do alumnado.

(4) Dr. EDUARDO GARCÍA-RODEJA, catedrático de Edafoloxía da USC (e director da miña tese), temén colaborou na creación da exposición permanente de edafodiversidade no Museo de Historia Natural

(5) Dr. ENRIQUE ZAS, catedrático de Física de partículas da USC, colabora con nós en diferentes proxectos.



 WSD 10  media participantes numerada


 Nicolás Lucas explica como foi xurdiu e foi organizado o proxecto


 WSD 26 media grupo final  WSD 12  media - Cris-Paula conselleirada

 Profesorado e alumnado premiado acompañados da Dra. Monserrat Díaz (en representación da SECS). Detrás, o subdirector e o director xeral de Ordenación Educativa xunto co director do IES A Pontepedriña.


 PAULA ALFONSÍN (co micro) e CRISTINA DÍAZ realizan a interpretación do mural ante Ángeles Vázquez conselleira de Medio Rural),  Román Rodríguez (conselleiro de Educación), e Montse Díaz (CSIC). 
 WSD 13  media - Artur  WSD 14  media Laura
 ARTUR VÁZQUEZ realiza a presentación xeral do proxecto no marco do concurso convocado en relación ao Día Mundial do Solo

 LAURA CAEIRO explica o impacto dos incendios forestais en relación a dinámica -sucesión/perturbación de ecosistemas e solos.


WSD 15 media  Dani WSD media Lois

 DANIEL MÉNDEZ incide nas técnicas de mitigación post-incendio para evitar a erosión de solos e a afectación a ecosistemas fluviais.


LOIS MORÓN describe os detalles relativos á realización do video enviado ao concurso da FAO
WSD 17 media - Silvia WSD 18 media - Iria

SILVIA FUENTES realiza a introducción ao proceso de pintado do mural


 IRIA FEBRERO explica os actividades previas ao pintado: recolllida e preparación de material, deseño, probas.
WSD 19 media - Irene WSD 20 media - Montse

 IRENE GARCÍA detalla o proceso seguido para pintar a obra  na celebración do Día Mundial do Solo


 A Dra. Montserrat Díaz, Investigador Científico do Instituto de Investigacións Agrobiolóxicas de Galicia (IIAG-CSIC) fala en calidade de presidenta da Sección de Bioloxía da SECS
WSD 21 media - publico Montse WSD 22 media Estela-Nico e Rafa
 Alumnado de 4º ESO escoita as últimas intervencións do acto

 Estela Pintos e  Nicolás Lucas xunto a Rafael Zas, que desempeñou un papel fundamental no proxecto. Grazas Rafa polo teu entusiasmo e valía!


WSD 23 media conselleira-público

 Intervención de Ángeles Vázquez, conselleira de Medio Rural da Xunta de Galicia

 Intervención de Román Rodríguez, conselleiro de Educación da Xunta de Galicia >

WSD 24 media conselleira


WSD 25 media - conselleiro
WSD 11  media premiados ante mural -  VOZ



  Conference participation: "LandCare for the future

 (16-18 July 2018)

WSD 27 Landcare - abstracts WSD 28 Landcare - poster WSD 29 Landcare -  Nico
 Programa e libro de resumos do congreso / Resumo da nosa participación (preme para acceder)

 POSTER PRESENTADO (preme para ampliar)


 WSD 32 Landcare - stand SECS  WSD 30 Landcare - Nico-Estela

 Unha copia do noso póster no stand da Delegación Territorial en Galicia da SECS, con Maite e Monstse - Dra. Maria Teresa Barral (USC) / Dra. Montserrat Díaz (IIAG-CSIC)






 The president of the SECS visits us    (17 July 2018)

Aproveitando a súa presencia en Compostela para participar no congreso "LandCare for the 

Future", o Dr. Jorge Mateix Solera -presidente da Sociedad Española de Ciencias del Suelo-

visitou o IES Pontepedriña para interesarse polos detalles do proxecto e admirar de cerca a

obra pictórica.


                      Javier Dapena, Nicolás Lucas, Jorge Mateix, Estela Pintos e Montserrat Díaz

WSD 31 SECS diploma 5 hor

WSD 31 SECS - diploma-trio vert

WSD 32 Diploma SECS


Entregounos un DIPLOMA de recoñecemento do labor realizado.

Grazas Jorge, pois a a SECS xa valoraba o noso proxecto antes de gañarmos o premio  da FAO.

WSD 35 SECS redshirts - todos

E tamén trouxo de agasallo unhas camisetas... 

   as do equipo da SECS gañador do bronce no

   mundial de Río (Soil Judging Contest 2018).


Que entregamos ao noso alumnado gañador do

   Soil Painting Competition 2017,  ao inicio do

   novo curso, en setembro.

ANXA, ESTELA, Artur, Laura, Lois, Paula, Dani e NICO ; sentadas están Cristina, Silvia, Irene e Iria.  
WSD 34 SECS redhirts premiados WSD 36 SECS redshirts - música
O equipo premiado posa coas camisetas da SECS  diante do mural   Na aula de Música está VÍCTOR, que fixo a o arranxo do tema de Monteverdi, acompañando a Ana, Cristina, Silvia e Mila (Noa estaba ilocalizable).



Celebrating WORLD SOIL DAY 2018


 2018_WSD_One year later  








Celebrating WORLD SOIL DAY 2019


 2019-WSD_TwoYearsLater  2019-WSD_banner-En












 11@  12@
 13@  14@





3o xaneiro. Día da Paz

O alumnado de 1ESO asistiu ao acto central polo Día da Paz e a Non Violencia no Auditorio Abanca organizado polo Concello de Santiago de Compostela


Concerto didáctico Elektronik Kontainer

Excursión a Andorra

Creacións artísticas do alumnado

Literatura contra o maltrato

O último dos actos desenvolvidos no noso centro para sumarnos á loita contra a violencia machista foi unha exposición de textos e un maratón de lectura. Graciñas a Carmen Navarro Ilustración por deixarnos usar unha das súas obras na portada do vídeo e a toda a comunidade educativa que colaborou con esta actividade. Agardemos que nun futuro non moi lonxano non teñamos xa que lembrar o 25 de novembro.


En loita contra a violencia machista

Co gallo de amosar o apoio de toda a comunidade educativa á loita contra a violencia machista, o departamento de filosofía animou o alumnado de Valores Éticos a levar a cabo esta dramatización. Foi realmente emocionante!!! Descargar fotos

Eneálogo contra o machismo

No IES Pontepedriña, quixemos que o alumnado reflexionase sobre aquelas condutas que poderían considerarse machistas, co gallo de facer un eneálogo a xeito de denuncia. Estamos máis que satisfeitxs co resultado!!!

O curruncho das escritoras. Arantza Portabales

Este curso queremos continuar a actividade que iniciamos a ano pasado chamada O Curruncho das Escritoras. Desta volta, temos a sorte de contar coa autora galega nada en Donostia, Arantza Portabales. O martes 6 de novembro ás 16:30 o noso alumnado de 1º Bacharelato terá ocasión de resolver as dúbidas que lle xurdiron ao ler Deixe a súa mensaxe despois do sinal. De seguro será unha análise da súa obra moi interesante.
Distribuir contido