Saturday, February 28, 2004

Wildfire Season

The photo below of yours truly standing at an abondoned oil well also includes a reference to forest fires. This time of year in Monagas State, eastern Venezuela, is called the dry season. I don't think it has rained for a couple of weeks now and the land is getting very dry. Last evening I joined a group going to a company barbeque in Temblador, about 100 kilometers from Maturin. The main road passes through open ranch land - llanos - for much of the way. We saw numerous fires as we sped south. They can be started in several ways, but those by the roadside are probably "man made". At one point we drove through smoke and flames, all very threatening. Driving back at midnight the fires were still blazing - there seems to be no effort to put them out - and they were even more dramatic. I'm glad our tires didn't catch on fire!