Mid-March saw the outbreak of an unnaturally large number of fires in the pine forests on (mainly) the west side of Abaco. Suspicion mostly fell on hog hunters wanting to clear the thick undergrowth. Many fires spread rapidly in the wind and some jumped the highway. For a couple of days there was increasing anxiety at Delphi, not wholly allayed by Sandy’s robust enthusiasm for driving guests intothe heart of the fires: “Look, I promise you, it’s perfectly safe ”. The big question: would the coppice stop the fire in its tracks as expected, or would the fire sweep through to the Club grounds and buildings? And (a members’ concern, this) were they adequately insured?
In the event, the Club was spared. However, much of the area between the road and the coppice in front of the Club was badly burned. The effect on the bird liferemains to be seen, though even after a few days there was evidence of greening up of foliage – an encouraging sign. Any hogs presumably managed to escape…
Here are some images, all of them taken from the Club or along the drives. Most (all but 2 now – I’ve fixed the rest) will enlarge with a click.
Setting sun from the Club verandah. At least 3 fire seats are visible
This tree along the guest drive kept smouldering for 3 or 4 days
This area along the drives was dense bright green undergrowth two days earlier
A milky morning sun filters through onto snowy ash
Click to enlarge this image: you’ll see a flame at the top of the tall dead tree, like an oil refinery flare stack
Fire spreading in the wind and taking hold of a new area between the drives
Another area that had been thickly wooded, with dense green undergrowth