Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Fires in the Minervois
I recently returned home to the Minervois after a very busy week in the United Kingdom. The drive through the centre of France takes about 11 hours, so by the time I get home I am usually quite shattered.
I went for an early evening walk through the vineyards before planning an early night.
The countryside around our house is magnificent.
At about 9pm I took the bin out and thought that the sky seemed rather bright!!!
The reality was that I could also see flames above the tree tops.....too close to my house. The countryside was on fire and our house was directly in the wind path.
On closer inspection the fire was raging on the hilltops. There must have been at least 50 fire engines and many fire fighters trying to control the blaze.
At one stage we started to pack our bags and plan an evacuation!
Fortunately the wind calmed down and the fire was contained, but the loss of wildlife, the devastation and the general destruction was immense.
Apparently ...according to local gossip....the fire was started by local hunters who had a grudge against another local hunt. I find this totally reprehensible. If a hunter has any respect for nature and the beauty of the land he would never ravage the countryside like this.
There were over 300 hectares of wild garrigue, vines and forest land that were wiped out. Fortunately nobody was hurt.
Sometimes it is difficult to understand humanity.