You wouldn't think a Tuesday afternoon at the end of August would be very exciting, would you? Especially when one is chained to the office computer and pushing paper from here to there.
However, if you happen to work in the middle of the countryside where it hasn't rained in a wee while, and some idiot outside chucks a fag end into the scrub, you could find yourself in the middle of a forest fire. From a safe distance, that is quite exciting!
As the distance got less safe, and a tad less exciting, we yearned earnestly for the hunky pompiers to rush up, sirens blaring, water squirting, and boots a-stomping. Just as the forest fire jumped the fence into our field and set to devouring up the new and extensive territory, a big yellow fire truck came roaring over the forest track to tackle the fire. It was followed by two motobiked pompiers, and a red Landrover fire truck.
We had been trying to wet the land with our puny garden hosepipe - hopeless of course. Here size counts... and the pompiers had enormous hosepipes which they wielded with skill and experience. They doused the flames and soaked the smoke not letting the tiniest whisper of a spark remain alive. I wanted to run up and hug them all, but just said thank you very nicely.
The proceedings had been watched by the Conseil Général helicopter, for training reasons maybe... and two yellow planes flew over just in case the wind whipped up the fire into a vicious beast. It's easily done. In the minutes after I first saw the fire, it doubled in size and energy. Had the wind been blowing in the other direction, it would have gone into the forest and become a very serious problem.
Still, the swift action of local farmers plus our fabulous boys in blue and red put paid to any hope the fire had of total destruction and while damage to land was done, it was nothing serious, and no one was hurt.
It's man's work, that!