Andraitx.—It started with an isolated plume of smoke across the valley.
Within 10 minutes it was a raging inferno moving at a horrifying speed along the heavily wooded ridge opposite my house totally out of control.
That first sign of smoke came at 12.45pm and as I write this it is 3.30pm and there is nothing but dull black smoke and the occasional flickering flame to contemplate from the relative safety of my home.

Yet at 1.30pm I was seriously worried, the whole of the Sa Coma “Frio” valley in the hills above Andraitx town seemed to be on fire.
I am not ashamed to say that I was more than a little concerned……in fact I was scared.
The speed of the fire was astonishing you could see its progress almost metre by metre, tree by tree.
Soon I could hear the wailing sounds of fire fighting vehicles striving to get to the seat of the fire; the clattering blades of helicopters gave a surreal effect, as though I was watching a re-run of Apocalypse Now. Slowly but surely the fire-fighters on the ground and the helicopters in the sky were seemingly getting to grips with the blaze which must have been by now 2-3 klms in length…….they were bombarding the fire from different angles with heavily laden water buckets and using red coloured fire-retardant to put out the flames that would suddenly explode back into life as the fickle wind decided to freshen and change direction.

As I write this, I hear reports that the fire has moved westward and now can be plainly seen in the pretty village of S' Arraco just a few kilometres from here as the crow flies.

Given the fact that there has been hardly any rain in the past two months on the island, and yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far, perhaps it is hardly surprising that the conditions are cruelly perfect for a frightening blaze such as this.

At this time I understand that the road in and out of Sa Coma has been closed as the authorities struggle to contain the blaze(s) and fire-fighters are now being based there, prior to being sent out to fight the fires.

At the moment, the mountain opposite is smoking like an abandoned log fire, but still helicopters run hither and thither busying themselves by making sure the conflagration doesn't erupt again. It seems for our part that the situation is now under control, but further to the south-west who knows…..fingers crossed! My admiration for the men and women who are doing this job for us all knows no bounds, to do what they have to do in the blistering heat tackling a blaze that could change direction at any time is very humbling. Thank you.

Early yesterday evening as the military began arriving, the blaze was still raging with86 fire fighters from brigades across the island involved in the battle onm the ground with air support from seven air craft, including a giant Canadair from Zaragoza, bombing the flames with tons of water. Continued over


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