Mallorca needs rain. Not what a holidaymaker to the island wants to hear, but residents know that the land and reservoirs are desperate for the stuff. It’s very hot here too, and that doesn’t help the situation.
Add strong winds to the mix – such as those we’ve had over the past few days – and danger may not be far behind. As we sat drinking a late-morning coffee on the back terrace on Friday, The Boss spotted smoke in the valley … and it wasn’t from an early BBQ lunch.
Bonfires are banned in summer
Bonfires are not allowed during the hot dry summer months and the wind had whipped up the smoke to such an extent that this was clearly a wild fire. I rang the emergency services to report the sighting – and was not the first to do so. We country dwellers waste no time when it comes to spotting smoke or flames where smoke or flames shouldn’t be …
Firefighting kit in action
This fire was a lot further away than the last one we experienced (a little too closely), but it was still frightening because of the speed at which it was travelling, fanned by fierce gusts of wind.
Four helicopters, four planes, 10 fire engines, and around 50 firefighters were soon on scene, working for several hours to get the fire under control and, eventually, fully extinguished. The sea is not far away from us as the crow (or helicopter) flies, and we watched the helicopters making frequent sorties towards the coast, where they would scoop up water in the enormous buckets they carry and return to release the load over the site of the fire.
It was a dangerous and difficult afternoon for these brave people who put their lives at risk every time there’s a wild fire. And ours was only one of EIGHT that burned on Mallorca on Friday …