In bed listening to music and scrolling through Facebook, like any other night, WhatsApp notifies me of a message received at 22:00 … it’s my sister. “There is a fire behind my house!” My heart raced, I knew there had been fires from top to bottom of Portugal, that is nothing new. Every year Portugal burns more and more but NEVER this close to home! I rang her and got more information on exactly what was happening. When she sent me a screen shot of her cameras, the fire was HUGE.
Within minutes the fire had spread and was surrounding her whole house, people were watering everything around their houses, gardens and walls to stop the fire coming into their gardens, it was out of control and no firefighters to be seen.
At 1am there was no water left in the neighborhood and the fire was still spreading. Finally the firefighters arrived and managed to control the fire which had now crossed the road and was going straight to the front neighbours house, PANIC was what could be felt and seen on camera. Far away and not being able to do anything to help, to protect her house, my sister and her family just watched the flames spread and their neighbours and parents-in-law rushing around without a clue of what to do without water.
Finally at 3am the fire was considered under control and her house was no longer in danger. THANK GOD! Just as I got off the phone to her and made sure her house was alright, I got a Facebook notification…. my parents village has been evacuated due to a fire! It all starts again, the panic, the anxiety, the worry that it will reach their house now and it would all be destroyed. My parents house was still a bit far from the fire so I just prayed it would not reach their road, that the fire would lose force and die, that the firefighters would arrive quick and control it… NO… that didn’t happen! My cousin rings me saying that the fire had now reached the cafe (3 doors away from my parents house) and that the firefighters had told everyone to evacuate NOW! The fire was near a factory that had fuel and other chemicals and if they exploded then there was no way to say what could happen. I rang my uncle to see if he was there, if he could go see my parents house, water it, protect it…. NO ANSWER, connections were down. 4am I managed to reach him… my parents house was out of danger as the day before they had cleaned the garden and watered the soil, also the fire had taken another direction so no longer coming down our road! PHEW THAT WAS CLOSE! Still not safe enough everyone had to leave their homes behind and spend the rest of the night at the firefighters station, the fire was still at the factory and at any moment it could explode. I once again spoke to my uncle, it must have been about 5ish and he told us the fire was put out near my parents house, and the one at the factory was under control but no one was left in the village as everyone had to evacuate, for us not to worry everyone was safe, and the house was untouched. Thank god, nothing serious happened to the houses and the people we care and love, my parents did in fact lose 2 farms with the fire, but land is just land…:).
NOW you ask… Ana why this long arsed story?? Well… for those who know me I have always spoken about these wildfires, it’s devastating to see your home country being burnt this way, being destroyed and turning dark, what once you saw green in 2016 is now no longer there or shall i say it is, but BURNT OUT. One thing that makes me fume is the fact that the government does NOTHING to stop this, they blame the heat, the sun, the dryness… blah blah blah.. all CRAP. The fire that broke out in my village, my city was deliberately put there by some low life who has nothing better to do of his life. What does the government do?? Nothing. Take him in, do some tests and set him free.. Can’t keep him as he has mental issues. Really? Mental issues?? He kills people, destroyed peoples lives and he’s mental?! This really upsets me! Every year I try and promote the firefighters in Portugal and try get people to contribute and help. They have a big impact in peoples lives, people who are caught in fires, struggle to keep fires away, if there were no firefighters, there would be no houses left in Portugal. Most of the firefighters are volunteers, they don’t get a single penny to help others. They risk their lives and some even die leaving their family behind. Please don’t blame them for the fires, don’t blame them for your things being destroyed, they do the best they can with the equipment they have, please support them and help them when ever it is possible. I myself am a member of Bombeiros Voluntarios de Mangualde, (Mangualde is my city, and I support my main station) if you have possibilities to help out too, please do!!
Lets together stop WILDFIRES not only in Portugal BUT in every single country that suffers yearly with this disaster.
Thank you for reading and see you on my next blog!!! LOVE YOU