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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I’m dealing with something I never had to while in Chicago: forest fires.  I’m used to snow storms, tornadoes, and even hail, but a burning fire was always something far away I observed on the news – until now.  Over the past month, there have been at least 4 considerable fires not far from where we live.  On Saturday, one burned within the limits of the community and over 200 hectares or 450 acres burned.  We witnessed the billing mountains of smoke fill the sky from our front door.

Fires are not uncommon for the region, but given the extreme draught like conditions we’ve been having this year, they are popping up everywhere.  One stopped at the gate of a friend’s garden after it had jumped 4 lanes of traffic.  We just got news that a large highway near Montpellier, the A9, has been closed down due to a fire, and two large fires are still burning south of us on the Spanish border.  From the highway, we can see the aftermath: scorched land and devastated fields.  Whole orchards have been destroyed.

In 2005, high winds and dry weather fueled a fire that burned for a week and consumed over 5,000 acres of land just a few miles away.  If the fire wasn’t stopped before it reached a neighboring crest, Christophe is convinced the village would have become a casualty too.  On a positive note, the French firefighters are known for being extraordinarily good and are trained for mountainous terrains.  Their planes have been flying non-stop overhead and we can see their water bombardiers descend as they fill up at a nearby lake.  It’s quite a spectacle, but not in a good way.  Les incendies, or forest fires, is the topic on everyone’s tongues and worries.

Each place has its natural catastrophes, but this is a new one for me, and I’ve decided I don’t like it.  I’ll take a tornado over this any day.

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