midsummer madness

wildfire smoke, Gredos

The last two posts have mentioned the noche de San Juan, when celebratory bonfires are lit, but I had rather thought that that would be enough of the subject for this year. After all, the hogueras are lit on the evening of June 23rd, and today they should all be over.

Sadly, though, someone seems to have got the dates mixed and started un incendio in the middle of the day today.

The whole afternoon has been accompanied by the screaming sirens of the police and fire brigade, and the thrumming of the helicopters called out to deal with it.

The fire can’t have been more than half a mile away and the helicopters flew clockwise on a circular route between the incendio and the pantano, with our house somewhere on the circumference.

helicopter with full water sac
helicopter dropping water on a wild fire

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The picture on the left shows one of the choppers with a full water sac, while the one on the right is the same one moments later, releasing its load of water on the fire. To judge from the reduction in smoke, I think the fire must have been pretty much under control at that stage.

The electricity company seem to be blaming the fire for the interruption in supply that lasted a couple of hours – it’s back on now, which is how I’m connected again and posting this. Our utility supplies seem to break at the least provoction and I do wonder how other bloggers manage to post updates when they find themselves in emergency situations.

One thing that strikes me is how unconcerned I am now about a wildfire just yards from my backdoor. Theoretically, I know it could be bad; after all, back in 2009, it took them six days to control the fire just up the road and it wasn’t officially declared over until nearly a month after breaking out.

My current nonchalance reminds me of when I lived in California in the late Eighties. The first earthquake hit in the middle of the night and was terrifying. The second – a week later – came at quarter to seven on a Sunday morning and my reaction was to roll over and go back to sleep. I guess you can get used to anything.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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