FIRE ON TENERIFE
Arsonists should have to live with the consequences of their crimes.
I live in Tenerife where at least 2000 hectares of beautiful forest are on fire because some blithering idiot set it on fire. Some selfish, thrill-seeking bastards decided it would be fun to watch other people's homes and livelihoods go up in smoke. And make no mistake about it - lives will be lost. Just this afternoon a fire engine crashed on the motorway - one can't help wondering if its driver had been up all night.
The bomberos and military are doing their best while millions of trees explode and die, thousands of birds fall screaming as their feathers burn, thousands of rabbits, lizards and insects bake in a coating of red-hot pine needles.
There are goats that people will not be able to rescue, dogs and cats - some with owners, some feral, all un-deserving of the fate that is racing to overtake them.
I saw the desolation of Masca after fire swept through there five years ago. I shall never forget the weeping shopkeeper who sent me up the stairs to look at his apartment. "I won't come with you, it upsets me too much" he said and I could see why. Televisions melted, his bath like a Dali painting, precious photographs ruined in twisted frames, clothing and furniture just piles of water-soaked ash, and the stink of burned dreams everywhere. It's happening again, now, as I type this.
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