Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fire! Fire!

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!


  1. , well, well, welcome to the South! The big head man of the hunky Pompîers is a friend and charming ladies man.....he has a XXL painting from me behind his desk...and did a super party to the thank me for it!

    400 hunkies, plus their Mrs. musique, retro screen of Sept.911 in New York, and a super girl singing New York, New York....and me poor soul dragged up front to make a speech o n the stage.......

    Did anyone really know what a Fireman was before 911....but now they do...people who offer their lives for all of us, whatever our color or our creed 365 days of the year - and often benevolement!

    The big white chief was in that helicopter which the departement offered him, (he always is, to keep a careful eye on his troops), and tomorrow I'll give you his mail, because he will be so pleased that someone says thank you!

    So many people say when they are dissatisfied - but how many say sweetly thank you as you did dear?

  2. Actually, looking at the photos today, I see that there was a pompière fighting the fire with the lads. So I'll have to revise my last line from "it's man's work" to "it's tough work"!

  3. Funny thing, I was watching last night the 9/11 Filmakers' Commemorative (http://tinyurl.com/2g25tu) documentary done by the French brothers of the NYC fire station they were following. When you know the perils involved, it is indeed a yeoman's job. And if you didn't see the film, it's a worthwhile way of revisiting that day.

  4. Thanks, Minter, I'll have a look at the link.

    Just found out this morning that the fire was started by a father and two kids who were letting off fireworks... in dry brush, near housing and work places.


  5. The pompiers are truly wonderful and truly hunky...I look forward to their visits every Christmas, when I buy one of their rather boring calendars (but it's worth every euro)!

  6. Oh good, everything ended well! Mais tu as du avoir chaud!

  7. Hi Sarah,
    Thank you for visiting my blog.
    You had quite an nerve wracking day, having the brush fire and the" pompiers" over.
    I'am glad it came out well on your side.
    Shucks ! No luck for me to get the fire brigade over ! As you can see from my blog we have been having lots of rain near Paris.

    You have a nice day.


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