For the past hour or so a helicopter has been flying from the sea to Mt. Epemeo and back, filling a dangling red bucket and dumping it into the dense smoke rising from a forest up near the peak. From my terrace I made a video of a couple of feathery cascades of water, and also took some stills. Don’t expect much because of the haze and the distance. But nevertheless this event has been documented.
A second helicopter--painted bright yellow--has joined the other in noisy round trips to the sea. The smoke on the mountain has cleared a great deal and it appears this conflagration is nearly under control.
The fire this morning was near Mt. Epemeo’s peak in an area about two and a half kilometers directly east of the village of Forio, seen here on the middle promontory of the island’s west coast. My villa is on the same line east, up the slope, roughly half a kilometer below the fire. Close enough to smell the smoke, and to feel on my face residual airborne droplets of water from the helicopters' buckets. Even though the smoke has cleared, the helicopters continue their work.
The large cloud of gray smoke emnating from the mountain has been reduced to a single narrow column, as if from a campfire or a chimney. One of the helicopters hovered over it (one minute ago) and dumped a bucketfull. As I type I hear the companion helicopter overhead.
Thistimearound writes: "Following each update with avid interest. Are you safe where you are, should there be a sudden flare-up?"
I don't see anyone hurrying down the mountain. But then, this is Italy!
The single column of smoke has disappeared. The first of the helicopters has departed, either because it has ceased operations or is refueling. The yellow one continues to take on and dump water.
It's difficult to see details. The glaring morning sun is in my eyes and this side of the mountain is in shadow. Plus the atmosphere is hazy, and not just because of the smoke. It's going to be a hot, muggy day. Through my telephoto lens I see mostly green treetops and no evidence of a massive burn.
The yellow helicopter has gone, as have all traces of smoke. In the hot hazy sun lethargy and somnolence once again descend upon the island, and a look at the clock tells one a nap might well be taken early this day.