Last weekend Spain saw the frightening spectra of forest fires taking lives, severely injuring people, destroying homes and devastating countryside and wildlife. It is now clear, beyond doubt, that the two fires that raged were started by carelessly discarded cigarette ends.
We have just had the driest winter in living memory, the hottest June, the temperatures are soaring. You only have to look around you to see how tinder dry the countryside is and some thoughtless fool casually throws a cigarette out of their vehicle. Lord above it just makes you despair does it not.
If you have ever seen a place that has been razed to the ground by a wild fire you will never forget it. We were profoundly affect by the sites we saw in parts of the Australia state of Victoria that suffered on Black saturday 7 February 2009. Areas we knew well, and had visited only months before the fires stood like barren moonscapes, stark reminders of that dreadful day.
If you drive along the Spanish motorways you cannot fail to see the flashing signs. You do not need to speak the language to know a triangle ( warning) sign with a cigarette crossed through is not telling you smoking is banned on the motorway. It IS telling you to be extra careful what you do with the butt. So lets hope and pray all smokers will take heed and that we will have no more tragedies this summer.