The fire’s controlled

Backlit helicopter with a bag of water. in Mazo. Photo: Saul Santos
One of our heroes inMazo. Photo: Saul Santos

Oh thank goodness! (or rather, thank firefighters!)

#IFJedey El perímetro del incendio de La Palma se encuentra ya estabilizado en todos sus frentes …

It burnt a total of 4,800 Hectares (11,861 acres/48 sq km) which is 6.8% of the island. OK, so that’s 93.2% unaffected, or at least not burnt. It’s still a great place for a holiday, although the network of hiing trails is closed due to the fire risk and the famous volcanoes hiking trail will be ugly until about November, and there’s a risk that dead pine trees will fall. But once the autumn rains start, the forest recovers remarkably rapidly.

In other news, we’re hearing more details about the young man who started the fire. He was living in a cave because he wanted zero ecological footprint. That’s why he was trying to dispose of his used loo roll. How ironic! When the fire started, he tried to put it out, and when he realised that wasn’t going to work without water, he ran down to the road to raise the alarm because he didn’t have a mobile. He flagged down a police car and told them what had happened, whereupon he was arrested. This is pretty much the opposite of a hit-and-run driver, isn’t it.

Since he’s been arrested he hasn’t eaten anything and hardly drunk anything, has apparently refused legal help from the German consulate and generally appears suicidal. It turns out that he’s not a monster after all, and maybe not particularly stupid. Maybe he’s simply a human being who made one dreadful mistake.

You know, I wanted to hate him. After Francisco Santana died, I really did.

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