During the summer I am destined to be surrounded by wildfires. California had a particularly busy summer while I was there, last summer in Sicily was marred by smoky skies, and this year while I was in Puglia, there were more wildfires. (Feed readers, you’ll want to click through the site to see the video in this post.)
Last year you might have heard of the problems in Puglia’s Gargano with forest fires getting out of control and trapping tourists on the beaches. In fact, there were rumors that several people had died but according to this Reuters article, two of the deaths may or may not have been related to the fires.
But the fact remains that now people get a bit spooked when on the many beaches of Gargano in Puglia, Italy. Many of the beaches are only a few meters deep and are backed up against a cliff that, if it caught on fire, could definitely trap you down at the water.
This particular afternoon, we were at a beach that you may recognize from my post How to Open and Eat Ricci di Mare, Sea Urchins. That day, we probably noticed the smoke at the same time we noticed the firefighting efforts: in the form of Canadair “Scooper” planes (similar to this CL-215 model), or better known in Italy simply as “Canadair“, flying directly over the beach where we were laying and relaxing.
And when I say directly overhead, that’s exactly what I mean.
These “Canadair” fight fires by scooping up sea water and making continuous drops on the fire. Luckily, or unluckily, we were close enough to the fire to witness firsthand the path of the scoops and drops.
The Canadair planes flew overhead every few minutes so I was even able to get a video of it just as it passed overhead.
At a certain point, a second Canadair joined the firefighting, so we thought it might be prudent to head home since we had had a full day of sun (and the shade was creeping over the cliff) and didn’t need to risk unnecessarily.
As we left, we watched the progress of the two Canadairs and they continued to fly over our heads. That’s when I got perhaps the most beautiful shot of the day. The bright colors of the planes definitely seem to make a pretty picture of disaster.
How close have you come to a wildfire or its firefighting efforts?