We returned from holiday to discover a whole tranch of emails with news of fire in Spain. Fortunately one from b-i-l had the subject - Open this first - which we did, so were quickly reassured all was well and our Spanish house was safe. Even though we are still in the UK, it was still a great shock and worry, not least for our friends.
The fire pretty well surrounded the village, but the bomberos did a splendid job with their helicopters and water planes, and no property sustained any serious damage. I've seen them do this in the past, they scoop up water from swimming pools, or from the sea, and without losing any power despite the added weight, they scatter it over the fire. Most impressive. They apparently drenched one of our neighbours too, although she didn't mind as they saved her house and garage. Some terraces were gutted, trees and gardens destroyed in an instant, and there was a great deal of smoke damage. More importantly, no lives were lost. When friends saw the fire coming they hurriedly packed bags and escaped, watching the flames circle the village and their homes from a safe distance, and seeing it disappear under a blanket of black smoke.
These friends lost this terrace area, and our hearts go out to them. They say they won't be able to return to their home for a month because of the smoke damage inside. Some other close friends lost their precious garden and trees having spent 10 years creating it. However, the house, and more importantly themselves, escaped intact.
The village was evacuated with dozens of coaches bussing those people out who did not have their own transport. The army, the Guardia, the Medio Ambiente and the Policia Local were all out in force working with the bomberos. The villagers were accommodated in hostals and town halls in nearby towns. The local pharmacist even took the old folk's prescriptions and medication down to them, to make sure they were properly cared for. It was a most efficient operation apparently, yet we remained blithely
unaware of this terrifying crisis as we enjoyed our cruise in the
Here is the aftermath, blackened countryside all around. Our house is in a dip to the far right and fortunately not in the direct path of the fire which swept by about fifty metres away.
And how did it start? Well, it wasn't an act of God or nature, it was two idiots a couple of miles below the village who decided to do a spot of welding out in the open in temperatures of over 42 degrees. They are now in jail facing a huge bill of hundreds of thousands of euros in compensation.
Here is a link to a friend's video taken during the fire. They, and the entire village were then evacuted, so are quite safe. No lives or property were lost, though several houses were damaged, terraces, gardens, trees, olive, almond and orange groves destroyed. But what a brilliant job the fire fighters did.