Not so quiet a Sunday

Ali heard it before he saw it. And then he said three words that changed our day from any other uneventful Sunday into, well, an eventful sort of day. It was around 10:30. “There’s a fire!”
I was just getting some kitchen work done, having put Kaya down for a nap. I went out into the garden and looked up into the hills and saw this:

Which was ominous enough a sight, but when I looked harder at the area out beyond the wild pear tree, I saw this:

And my heart gave a lurch. Forest fires break out every summer, and we are always as careful as we can be. The shepherds around here, I am sure I have mentioned in the past, spit into their hands to put out a cigarette, never leaving it up to chance. We always hope that when they break out, they won’t be too close.
We always said that we would leave if there was any sign of a fire, so that is what we prepared to do. Not knowing what to take, I grabbed our passports and birth certificates, and Ali took the papers for our application for a title deed to our land and I got Kaya out of bed and we all went to the car. Ali had called one of the neighbors who told him that the forest fire department said they’d be around in five minutes or so, and we could hear the plane approaching as we left. We saw the first plane as we stood talking to the neighbor on the road:

Then we took one last look before we headed down:

We went down to Sundance Camp where our friends were waiting. They had seen the smoke from there. We had some tea, Baki played with a new friend, we eventually had lunch, and I took the boys to the sea, thinking that it would get our minds off things. Not so much, though, since the first thing we saw when we got to the shore was the smoke:

Every ten minutes or so, we heard the planes or the helicopter approaching the sea to get more water:

Ali went up to check on things while we were at the shore, but I had left my mobile phone behind when we left, so I had no way of reaching him. So I waited. He finally came back down at around 5, saying that the fire was still spreading. We decided to go back up together, but thought that we would probably stay the night at Sundance, just to be on the safe side. When we returned, things didn’t look too different from a distance:

The garden was fine, if a bit smoky. We watered the greenhouse, made sure the chickens were fed and watered and that Damla the cat and Lulu the dog had bowls of food. The animals were all calm, which was reassuring. We took some toothbrushes and clothes, and headed back down, leaving matters in the hands of the foresters:

It doesn’t look like we are in any immediate danger, and if our luck holds out things should be back to normal soon. We’ll go back up tomorrow morning, at any rate. Luckily, the area where the fire broke out is not populated; I think we are the nearest people to it. Still, it has been a heck of a day, and a stern reminder not to take anything for granted, especially not things like uneventful Sundays!

5 thoughts on “Not so quiet a Sunday

  1. I’m so sorry to read this but am glad that you and your family are out of harm’s way. When fires rip through the countryside, there is really nothing we can do but to get out of its way and hope the professionals can put it out swiftly before lives are lost. I hope your foresters by now have things under control and you’ve all returned to a home that is exactly as you left it.

  2. Oh my gosh. You must have been going on autopilot! It’s so scary to think how easily fires can start and how quickly they can grow. I am glad to hear that you managed to get to safety. Were you able to get back today?

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