Wild Fires in Portugal
It’s that time of year.
Portugal doesn’t seem able to manage to get through a summer without a few wild fires, some of which go round and round seemingly for ever.
I even had an incident next door when some stupid Portuguese peasants had a blazing barbecue. The flames were half a meter high. It frightened the wits out of me.
There are still a lot of peasants around, and indeed, like seemingly everywhere else, the latest crop of new adults are close to being brain dead. They cant extrapolate anything. The flame is safely in one place, so what is the problem? The fact that there is a gale blowing, and flames can easily spread, just doesn’t enter the dormant brain.
A couple of days later there was that smell of smoke in the air, and the air took on a faint orange colour. Oh dear, here come the flames. In fact we could see a rumbling cloud of smoke to the west, and that’s where the wind was coming from.
I kept going up on the balcony to check the progress of the smoke, but it didn’t come any closer.
The following day, coming back from shopping, we could see a great bank of cloud, still in the north-west, but luckily for us the wind, although a lot stronger, was now blowing the other way, so once again, we were ok.
A couple of years ago we had a serious burn-up, based around the town of Silves. That area does seem to get it worst of all. In the time I’ve lived here there have been half a dozen serious fires that have burned the hillsides to blackened scorched earth, and frazzled the trees.
When I lived in that area the flames came within ten metres of my chalet. Luckily the helicopters were out dropping water all around, and they emptied one cauldron right on top of the chalet.
We’ve also had a serious fire just next door, which I’m convinced was deliberately started. Here are a couple of pictures of the event. This was just a few feet from my fence
And here is a picture that I find intriguing. I took this just after lunch from the back of my swimming pool looking north towards the house (you can just see a white chimney pot amongst the trees), with Vicky sitting on the ledge. That black stuff where the sky should be is solid thick smoke drifting from the Silves area. The fires were about twenty miles away. Looks quite spooky, doesn’t it?
Usually you can see the smoke from the satellites.
We will probably be on high alert until the end of october, when we hopefully get some rain. We may get a few showers during the second week of september, but these rain showers are not as frequent, or as useful as they used to be. We have desert conditions here in the Algarve at the moment.