Earlier this month more than 60 innocent people lost their lives in Portugal's deadliest fire to date. Caused most likely by a lightning strike, the fire’s unstoppable path had no pity. Lives were lost - people who lived there, or those traveling through or firefighters risking their lives - robbing those remaining of loved ones, homes and a livelihood. Animals, nature and ecosystems were not spared. The demoralization and sadness is overwhelming.
The fire was about 2 1/2 hours by car southwest of our Quinta do Tedo. 2017 is very dry, and I pray that fires will not be a common reality in Portugal this year. I hope that the government deals with the fact that fast-growing eucalyptus and pine may provide a quick return for business but are invasive and ignite so easily. Only a breeze is needed to fuel a fire – before the flames become uncontrollable. I also hope that in Portugal the arsons who deliberately start fires receive a treatment that will change their pyromaniacal malaise. No one needs to lose a life, a home, animals, and a livelihood because of a fire started by someone else.
We send our prayers to all those tragically affected by the Pedrógão Grande fire.