I'm sure that you all know of the 2 major fires on the Cabrera mountain range recently. The latter fire had BBC news coverage. As someone who watched on as both fires ravaged the beauitiful countryside that I have come to love, I can tell you that I was both horrified and mesmerized by the speed with which the fire spread. The strong wind was driving it on and everytime the water bombers seemed to gain some control then the fire would spring to life in another spot.
For us at LO the first fire was probably the most dangerous. The wind was bringing the fire in our direction. As the smoke spread across the plain and threatened to reach the rise of our hill, we opted to pack a bag and leave our apartment to watch from the safety of Bedar. Most people felt confident that the clear ground over the pipeline would act as a sufficient firebreak for LO, although I have my doubts. Perhaps we were overly cautious but, as one of my guests had bad asthma, we were as worried about the smoke as we were about the fire. And, thankfully, as dusk fell, the wind did change direction and move the fire away from LO.
How close a call was it for LO? Well, I've posted some photos of the first fire and I would ask you to look at the 'morning after' shot of the hotel over the hill. Not far (a few hundred yards maybe) behind the hotel the ground is burnt in a wide swathe.
And a week later, again with a driving wind, an even more ferocious fire returned to burn the rest of the mountain. How they managed to save the Pueblo is amazing when all around it was burnt to a cinder. And this fire headed on towards the playa. I'm told that the fire was still burning behind the Indalo Hotel the next day.
In the following days, as we drove through the charred landscape, we saw many a Spaniard stood still looking out at the land, head in hands, tears in eyes. My heart went out to them and also to the families of the firefighters who lost their lives in the battle. Much property remained intact. People were evacuated in time. It could have been worse.
I know it will recover. Houses will be rebuilt. Crops will be replanted. Scrub will again decorate the land. The scene will become green again. Things will return to normal. But I'll never forget watching those fires. I'll never forget the sting of tears in my eyes and the weight of sadness in my heart when I saw the devastated land.
I hope that attention is now given to ensuring firebreaks are created at strategic points.
I will add some photos of second fire and it's aftermath later.