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Urd

Forest Fire

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Urd    52
Urd

I hope i don't have to go through this again in a lifetime.

Was on duty yesterday, but got news of a huge forest fire next home. My mom was alone in the house, with no car to move out if needed, so i had to ask to be replaced and go home at around 6p.m. I live one block away from a huge pinewood forest (the King's wood, they call it, since it was ordered to be raised by D. Dinis, a Portuguese King, in around 1290, to fight erosion.)

 

When i got home, the fire was around 5-6km away. At around 11:30pm , police started asking for us to abandon our homes orderly, to avoid mass panic and traffic. We didn't leave. Neighbours started to get their kids and elderly out and place them somewhere safe and get back to protect their homes. At around 1:30a.m, new police orders, this time urging us to leave, to flee, to just get in our cars and leave to a safe spot. Just grab your stuff and go. The fire was now maybe 500m away. The flames were about 50 or 60m tall, with a huge wall of black smoke to boost.

 

This time i shoved both my dogs inside the car, told my Mom to get her documents, water, a fresh change of clothes, a phone charger and the emergency money we had in the house. Removed all the curtains hastily, anything that was near the windows, turned off appliances, got into the car and fled.

Tried to find shelter in a nearby NATO Airforce base, but they had also been caught in the Inferno. By the time i got there, the base sirens were blasting, and the F-16's were being moved out and ppl evacuating.

Drove back to a nearby city where we have some friends, let my dogs safe in their basement, and hushed back home to try and save something.

There were no firefighters to help us...they had been deployed earlier that day to help fighting a fire in another location. it was just the local population trying to stop the flames from reaching the housing line. There was no water pressure in the garden hooses, so we couldn't even use that to wet the terrain around us or anything. Had to do what we could with axes, shovels, and hoes. Ppl were braking into closed houses and releasing the animals on the street, so they could have a chance at saving themselves... the little water we could use was from ppl who had their own wells and motorpumps. 

Anyway, thanks to the effort of the local population, we managed to save our houses. In the morning, went out for a small drive and see the damage done. 

It's all gone...the forest is all but gone. Nothing but charred roads and toothpicks-like black tree trunks standing in odd directions...And to think that last week i was strolling with my dogs in those same streets... :/

 

A pic from an observation post, that made the headlines yesterday. I live next to the faraway treeline...

 

 

 

22496132_1855166714511591_2542665858765615128_o_770x433_acf_cropped.jpg

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grayfox123    139
grayfox123

Wow, looks very serious. Hope you are all right. And here's hoping the fire didn't reach your house

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Urd    52
Urd

Nope, it didn't reach it, but it got too close for my own taste. One more road and it would have been our turn.

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Nena Camadera    63
Nena Camadera

Holy crap...

It's good to hear that you and your mom are safe, Urd.  Seriously. Have they managed to put the fire out up there?

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Urd    52
Urd

Not exactly put the fire out... The fire put itself out by means that it just ran out of wood to consume. Estimation is that 80% of the forest is gone. Charred. Toasted.

 

We had a few relapses this morning, but they were able to contain it. Still, half of this country went up in flames yesterday..jeez. Almost 40 dead already accounted for and i don't know how many ppl missing. 

 

My base is 88km away from home and the smoke got dragged here by the wind. The smoke is thick as morning fog...Not to mention that is raining ashes, some of them still lit.

 

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Nena Camadera    63
Nena Camadera

Good lord.  Watch out for those embers, especially around areas where there's still wood or cumbustable material.  If they aren't extinguished, there's a chance of more fires springing up and causing more damage.  I don't know if you're base is going to be assisting in recovery measures, but if you are, make sure you've got some kind of filter for the areas that are still heavy with smoke and ash.  Ash in particular can be made of really fine grains, which means that areas where the ash is still heavy can have equipment that gets clogged easily without some kind of secondary cover measure.

Stay safe up there, Urd.  Best of luck to you.

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Urd    52
Urd
11 hours ago, Nena Camadera said:

Good lord.  Watch out for those embers, especially around areas where there's still wood or cumbustable material.  If they aren't extinguished, there's a chance of more fires springing up and causing more damage.  I don't know if you're base is going to be assisting in recovery measures, but if you are, make sure you've got some kind of filter for the areas that are still heavy with smoke and ash.  Ash in particular can be made of really fine grains, which means that areas where the ash is still heavy can have equipment that gets clogged easily without some kind of secondary cover measure.

Stay safe up there, Urd.  Best of luck to you.

Yea, my base has been deployed to help, but so far i haven't got orders to go. Sitting nice here...

 

Looking out for those embers and stopping them from igniting more dry stuff has been keeping ppl up and about for the past 12hrs. Thankfully, there's rain forecast for tonight, so it should help with the ashes and smoke somewhat.

 

The forest fires caught up the highways and national roads, and ppl almost got toasted while trying to flee. (it actually happened earlier this year on another forest fire.)

Here's a video of a guy who got caught yesterday in one of the highways. He's saying that the temps inside the car are just crazy and he's urging ppl to not stop at the end, cause if they stop, they're dead meat.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Urd
grammar

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winedrinkingcritic    22
winedrinkingcritic

That sounds terrifying. "Gone... its all gone..."

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vanagandr    209
vanagandr

Wow, that's really serious! Less than 500m is basically too close for comfort by anyone's standards. I hope that the situation stabilizes and that the remaining relapses are put under control, before it gets worse. 

Even if they look relatively harmless, embers can cause a huge damage when underestimated. Just say safe out there.

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Sugoi    47
Sugoi

Wow..., that first pic looks so intense that it's kind of surreal... like out of a disaster movie.

I'm glad to read that you and your family are fine, anyways. That's the most important thing.

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IdiAmeanDada    47
IdiAmeanDada

Wow, so glad you and your family are safe!

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Imaginos1892    22
Imaginos1892

Good to see that you only got a scare, and didn't lose everything.

They're saying it's arson, and with 150 fires in four countries on the same day, it kind of has to be. Hope they catch the bastards. They deserve to burn.

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Board startup date: December 12, 2004 13:15:32
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