>> A haunted landscape of scorched earth and burnt trees cover swathes of Portugal after its deadliest natural disaster in living memory. 64 people perished in this summer's wildfires. But although it's hard to imagine anything stirring beneath this wasteland, officials hope it may hold the seeds of a plan.
They want to merge small plots of land into more viable units, giving land owners who abandoned them for the cities an incentive to tend them, and making it easier to create fire breaks and clear the highly flammable undergrowth that firefighters blame for the inferno.>>
> And the government is getting on board, proposing tax breaks for the combined plots of land.
They still think the small land owners are here clinging to their plots, they're not. They disappeared 25 or 30 years ago.>> 40% of the land ravished by fire in the European Union this year lies in Portugal, some 240,000 hectares. It was the biggest burner last year, too.
>> Powerful winds fanned flames 40 to 60 meters high, which moved as fast as 12 kilometers per hour. People were killed in their cars as they tried to escape. Small fires burn even now. Laro wants to create what he calls village companies to manage the plots jointly and share profits.
Traditional farm crops such as lemons and olives would make a comeback.>>