Many of you will know that we have been suffering a terrible drought this winter. Here at Casa Azul we have averaged one measly shower of rain in each of the winter months. Matters were brought to a head recently with a huge forest fire which was rather too close to comfort. The tinder dry forests nearby erupted into flames. There seemed to be fires starting all over the place and a huge black cloud covered the sky from East to West. Although the fires did get quite close to us, I don’t think we were in too much danger as we are surrounded by agricultural land which doesn’t burn too well.
It seems that the undergrowth was so dry and the winds so fierce that the flames swept through areas so quickly that in the aftermath many of the trees seemed to have survived and only the forest floor affected and despite taking place over a wide area it was all over relatively quickly. However, the following morning we could still see pockets of smoke on the hillsides. It’s at moments like these that you are thankful for the bombeiroes (firemen). We saw firetrucks from all over northern Portugal and apparently there were 450 present at the biggest fire in Portugal this year. Unfortunately it will certainly not be the last.