Friday, February 6, 2009

Poorly Executed Brush Fire Nearly Burns Down Neighborhood

Two little boys pass by like all is normal
A view from top over the charred landscape I call my neighborhood.Flames rose as bystanders took action. (those two tree tops are in my back yard)

February 3, 2009
Togo, West Africa~ Villagers responded to a brush fire that went out of control on Tuesday evening nearly harming small children and goats as well as damaging nearby homes. "I was in my house entertaining my friend as I noticed the smell of something burning and heard the wind gusting outside. I thought finally, some rain, it’s been hotter than the devil lately. Unfortunately to my disgust, I looked out the back window and saw flames shooting in the air on the other side of my compounds walls." Commented Adjovi, a PC volunteer posted to the village. "Instantly I knew someone had carelessly executed another attempt to clear their fields. I quickly closed all the windows as the ash and soot entered the house and ran outside to see what was happening, the heat was immense and I thought there may be a chance my house was going to burn down."
Respondents on the scene concluded that the blaze was set by a neighbor who was frustrated that the public continued to use her field as a toilet. "I was sick of them hiding in-between the cornstalks and taking a dump. So I burnt it all down, now they can’t sneak around anymore." Stated the woman responsible for the blaze (she asked to not reveal her name)
Neighbors and passersby stood around and watched as some of them decided to take action to clear a path around the flames. Their quick action may have prevented the fire from spreading, though it is something that should have been done in advance to properly control the perimeter. Pierre, the student who lives in the same compound as Adjovi, was severely upset at the destruction the flames were taking on the flowering bushes and plants in his yard. He took matters in his own hand and began to throw buckets of water over the walls, distinguishing the fire. « Oh? Eh? Ce n’est pas bon, vraiment. Ça va déranger les fleurs. Oh, cette gens, ils ne connaissaient pas faire ça. Dommage ! » Exclaimed Pierre.
Luckily no animals, children, property or persons were hurt during the blaze. The village of Adéta is demanding the appearance of Smokey the Bear in hopes he can train their population the importance of fire prevention and control. In Togo, "only you can prevent brush fires."■

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