Panier of Plenty

Warm toes…

© MARIE-SOPHIE HEL L’Independant

Returning from holiday in Provence on Sunday 22nd, the welcome was
a little warmer than expected, as a fire took hold in our neighbouring
village – more than 14,000 hectares have gone up in smoke and the air
has been alive with water bombers (Canadair bombardiers d’eau) battling
against the wind – the tramontane, which fueled the flames with gusts
of up to 100km – and then a dramatic ‘change of direction’ which drew
the line of fire directly to the ridge above us and shrouded our commune
in a thick cloud of smoke.

The ridge just above us

Smoke increases

Aerial fire control, above the Mas

Canadair bombardier d’eau

Sunset, 23rd July, belvédère

As the sun set on Monday evening we heard a siren, and saw lights flashing
on the mountain road – in heroic style, a police car arrived at our bridge
with a herd of Spanish cows and directed them to the safety of our field…

Gendarmes directing survivors

This morning, as day broke, planes and helicopters continued to spread
retardant and water – the extent of the devastation now becoming clearer
as life returns to ‘normal’, replacing the ‘high alert’ status that had us
preparing to evacuate and taking preventative measures, shocked by news of
the quick demise of surrounding villages (just across the border in Spain).

This entry was published on July 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm. It’s filed under Catalan, Current Events, Environment, Europe, Forest, France, French Culture, La Vie Quotidienne, Landscape, Languedoc Roussillon, Life, Lifestyle, Mediterranean, Nature, Photography, Pyrénées, Spain, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Warm toes…

  1. Hi Vivienne, that’s terribly frightening to hear they’ve been fires in your area, bush fires bring something I slways associated with the Aussie outback but not necessarily in Europe. With luck the danger and smoke will subside. Good luck and hope you’re back to happier days soon…

    • Hello, thank you for your kind wishes. I am used to the intensity Australian bushfires and the eerie glow that remains days after, this was a surprise and a little to close for comfort as the ‘bush’ here doesn’t regenerate in the same way – thinking about what to pack, the most precious essentials, in the heat of the moment, and considering the loss of everything certainly brings everything into focus and the wave relief afterwards – that it is all over, the danger has passed – is profound… I am counting blessings and at the same time a bit afraid to discover ‘the remains’ of everything that surrounded us only days ago and has now disappeared, thinking of all the lives that have been inexorably altered…

  2. Oh gee . . . . 😦 So sorry to hear this and what a dramatic entry back into the area for you!! Terrifying,dramatic, drama-filled, and certainly grounding!!!! Thank goodness you are ok and didn’t have to evacuate. Sending you and those around you blessings for calm days ahead of restoration xx

  3. Pingback: Rebirth « Panier of Plenty

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