Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Final report.

I am pleased to be able to report that the fire is nearly over now. According to local newcasters, it was the worst in ten years. It is thought that it may have started with a lightening strike during the morning's thunder storm, which was much worse just along the coast from us towards Almeria.
Cabrera village, up on the affected mountainside, suffered quite a lot of damage. The restaurant was completely destroyed when their gas bottles blew up. Some twenty cortijos were also lost around there. There was a warning to home owners to move their gas bottles into their swimming pool if they had one. An area of Mojacar was evacuuated when another fire started but this may have been a separate incident, or may have been started by sparks from the original fire. According to media reports, over 2,000 heactacres (20 square km) were burnt. During the night the Spanish army moved in with large machinery to build fire breaks, to protect the towns of Turre and Mojacar. There are still small areas of smouldering fire, but it is mostly under control now. Everyone is just praying that the wind doesn't get up again this afternoon and fan the flames once more.

This morning I went to my usual sewing group in Turre. That part of the road had reopened, but the road up to Cabrera was still cordonned off. Home owners are hoping to be allowed back up there tonight. I saw huge swathes of blackened land, quite close to the road. The fire had moved a lot further down into the valley before it started to climb up the mountains. In Turre itself the gutters were lined with piles of soot and ash like little black 'snow drifts'.

Let's hope it is at least another ten years before everyone has to experience such a thing again.

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