After a tense twenty-fours hours the worst seems to be over. The fire on the hills behind our house would appear to have been brought under control but, for a long time, it was a potential disaster. Argaka is our home and we watched as the fire roared and spewed throughout yesterday afternoon and into the hours of darkness. Coming home from Natalie and Tim's it looked as if a volcano were erupting, and we just hoped there would not be a change in the wind direction.
At first light this morning the first helicopters roared overhead, and I watched as they hovered over the hillside to drop their load and then head for the sea to dip their enormous buckets into the water to repeat the process over and over again. At times it seemed as if we were extras in Apocalypse Now. Our cats were very distressed with the noise and the vibrations. But the bravery of these pilots, the fire crews and the British troops on the ground was incredible.
It appears that a local man and woman have been arrested by police. There are various stories about what they were doing. One has it that they left their bbq by the side of the road, and others report they were trying to clear scrubland by burning it. Whichever report is true they have broken one of the fundamental rules of living here and that is, outside of winter time, the lighting of fires is strictly forbidden - and I mean strictly. This couple have caused untold damage to the land, although it is fortunate that no one died and that no houses were destroyed.
To light a fire was incomprehensible - but to light one on just about the hottest day of the year so far, with a strong wind blowing, was unbelievable. Thank heavens that there was no human cost. Other than that, the weekend has been pretty uneventful. England beat the Australians in an heroic display, and I've missed the Grand Prix so will have to watch it on catchup - probably tomorrow. I can cope with that ...