At last this evening it is reported that the huge wild fire that has been burning since Sunday in Catalunya, from the French-Spanish border at Le Perthus to Figueres more than 25 kilometres away, is under control. It has devastated 14,000 hectares of garrigue, forest and farmland and brought tragedy and death to some of those caught in it. Fire services from the Languedoc have travelled over the border to help the difficult task of putting out the terrifying flames which were fanned by a strong north wind.  There are photos and reports in French on the Midi Libre site.  I find it quite horrifying to see in an area that I know well. I wish people would learn not to throw cigarette ends out of their cars – this is the presumed cause of the huge fire.

Calm water


Many of the streams, including the one that runs down the hill past our garden, are dry now, but some calming water remains here, just north of the village.

And an agave in the air


The flower stem of this Agave americana is several metres high. Once it has finished flowering the plant will die, but other smaller plants will grow up around the base.

9 thoughts on “Elements

  1. I lived in San Diego during the huge fires in the 2000s. A large portion of the back country, consisting of the California version of garrigue, called chaparral, are gone. A number of people were killed and/or lost homes. One of the fires was caused by a lost hunter who started a campfire so he would be found (duh) and the other by a downed electrical line belonging to the utility company. Some of the burned areas are reviving, some of the burned oaks are not dead, but they are only alive at the trunk, the branches are dead. Very strange looking. I’m very impressed by how quickly the fires are extinguished here, no one waits to see how bad it might get.

  2. These fires in summer are so worrying and terrifying (I got caught up in a fairly small one the second year I was here). Mostly they are avoidable as they are started, as you say, by cigarettes or even arson. Such a shame. That shot of the agave is stunning!

  3. We live on a hillside and have ‘garrigue’ (dry moorland) all around us. We had just seen the headlines about the fire in Catalunya when we smelt smoke and saw tiny bits of ash floating in the strong winds! We are about 90 mins from the border. We dashed up to the terrace and realised we had a local fire. The Canadairs soon started going over, picking up water from the sea and then back to the fire. We kept watch but the fire seemed to be moving away. I read later that 80ha had burned around Nissan-lez-Enserune. We spent the evening making an emergency escape list.
    We have an agave but it has never flowered – beautiful photo.

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