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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Mountain Fires

On the last day of the fiesta's there is normally a huge firework display. This year, we walked down to where it is held and waited along with lots of others. After a while, one or two people left, which I thought was odd. Later, more people left, and someone told us that the display had been postponed. I asked why, and it was because the fire enfgine wasn't there. Oh well, time for a drink instead!

The next morning, we discovered that there were forest fires between Agullent and Ontinyent. During the day, these increased to Boccairent and Agres. This is about 15kms south of us. There were 5 planes called in as well as 7 helicopters to deal with the fires. We could see the planes dropping towards the reservoir, to fill up. Watching the news, we discovered that there was also a fire in Simat.

Late afternoon, I spotted a new pall of smoke, to the east of us. This turned out to be another fire, near Barxeta (Xativa direction) about 20 kms from us. Thankfully, the wind was carrying the smoke to the east, so we were safe. Late in the afternoon, when out visiting some friends, I saw another pall of smoke, but this was in the same direction as our house.

Ed and I drove back, but realised the this fare was on the other side of the tunnel. Deliberately, we drove towards Xativa. This fire was in the bottom of the valley, near Canals, but was not a forest/mountain fire, so the brigade could easily get to it.

This morning, it was confirmed that 3 of the fires had continued throughout the night. Someone we know had to evecuate, and in the space of 10 minutes, the fire had advanced by 1 km. He said it was terifying to watch. On returning to his burnt-out home today, he has discovered that his garden is destroyed, but inside the house is ok.

As soon as we can, we will be removing some more of the pine trees in our garden, especially the two that are closest to the house. We have already spoken to our neighbour, and he has no problem with this. (He won't denounce us for doing it!)

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