08 October 2012

A scorching hot summer in Zante

No, the airplane in the first photo didn't get entangled in my antennas!   It flew over the house and literally rescued our property from going up in smoke, like the pine trees in the second photo, where the plane drops 6.5 tons of water on the rapidly approaching fire front, less than 100 meters from the house (click on the photos to enlarge them). It was the 28th of August, and had the firefighter planes not arrived for another 10 - 15 minutes, all bets would have been off. It was the second close call this year for us. Such scenes have been extremely commonplace in my island during the last 25 years.
It's a sad reality that a vast pine forest area has been burnt to the ground during the last years, depriving Zakynthos of one of its greatest assets. Unfortunately, the great damage to the flora and fauna of the island will take many years to mend (if ever!). The planes and the firefighters on the ground (among them several volunteer radio amateurs) have saved many homes and possibly lives. We owe them all a big "thanks", perhaps more so to the pilots, who perform extremely dangerous aerobatics to deliver their payload with pinpoint accuracy.