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Sunday, 23 August 2009

Fire day 3

Today the skies are not orange or grey. They are dark, but you can see the blue
The fires have eaten all the mountain of Penteli, everything that I hold dear as it is part of the place I grew up.
Penteli is hollow due to the wonderful marbles it had since ancient times. The majority of the Parthenon marbles came from Pendeli and Paros.
The mountain also had created many myths, some having some truth since the revolution against the Ottoman Empire about 200 years ago. It was a hiding place for the gorillas against the Turks.
It is a place with rich magnetic ability. On the way to Nea Makri somewhere mid-mountain, there is a location where the road is downhill and then uphill again. What is amazing is if you switch off the engine the car will go backwards uphill. There are some locations on earth that manifest this phenomenon and Pendeli is one of them.
In addition Pendeli has been a place where in the begining of the century, well, last century and up until world war II, people with respiratory diseases would come to get cured due to its wonderful climate. Fresh crispy air moist free.
Pendeli has been burnt down many times. Various locations. In 1998 I remember I was one of the volunteers trying to save what I could only to run with new fire fronts exploding behind me with flames reaching more than 40m. I was trying to free the anmals from the abandoned houses. I was trying to water the roofs. Some was saved
Well, not any more. The entire mountain of Pendeli is now gone. From Marathon to Palea Pendeli
Well, the rocks are still there, they will be there till the end of time. Everything else is gone. Everything that has anything to do with life.
Of course I can not say that I did not expect that. But not this byblical catastrophy. Pendeli should not have been inhabited. Some very old neighborhoods, especially the hospitals and the monasteries have good reason to be there. But all these areas should not exist. Pendeli ought to belong to its forrest, to its rabbits, wolves, foxes, eagles, ducks, wildboar etc. None of that exist now as Man has burned it down so many times.
There is speculation that this fire as well was a result of arson. Well the 85 fires that broke out yesterday. Probably. But then again we live in an area (med basin) that is tortured by fires every august. I remember growing up that there were 'karaoulia' in Pendeli and we used to volunteer. These were fire watch points, usually scouts, volunteers or the army would watch. They would operate 24/7 the summer months. Not since I went to high school have I listened to them being operated. Why?
I don't understand. I don't understand many things. For instance I don't understand why there has been so much talk but no walk about creating fire breaking zones - you know zones of dry land throughout the mountain that would stop the fires from taking over the entire land. I don't understand why we don't use all these soldiers that we have to camp in the forrests. But most importantly I don't understand why we don't have an extremely well organized and state of the art equipped Forrest Rangers whose sole purpose would be to protect our forrests. Well, what is left of them. I certainly don't understand.
I am extremely sad with all these people that have lost their houses, property, animals. I don't understand why they were allowed to buy a house in the forest in the first place. I don't understand what kind of government allows its wealth to be deprived from its country for some small personal gain. Because had such construction had been outlawed and punished - in reality not paper - this catastrophy would not have occured. And I bet anything you would like on this

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