Monday, August 17, 2009


The canicule - heatwave - continues here. It has been in the mid-30s almost every day for some time now. The fire danger in the many forests of the area of course increases. But our fire bug has been adding to the peril. I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago - what sort of person does this? Not only could the forests be destroyed but the risk to local communities is great.

Not many afternoons go by without the almost constant sound of fire engine alarms, the roar of huge engines, the bombing runs of water-carrying aircraft. One day it seemed that the planes were trying to finish of Puivert Castle, but I think they were throwing water at an area of forest very close behind.

My walks take me past or through several blackened and devastated areas of woodland. Some of these are at a considerable distance from the road, presumably to deliberately make things difficult for the fire crews.

Almost all the fires locally have been started maliciously. The gendarmerie swing into action with a standard plan of roadblocks, but I believe they have not yet caught anybody. A kid on an off-road motorbike could run rings round them, I suspect.

The weather and a certain amount of common sense have combined to keep my kilometrage fairly modest, with 92 kms for the week just finished, and 2977 kms for the year to date.

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