I had a very scary experience last Thursday when I visited a friend of mine who lives in Monte Canelas, Portimão to help him in case the Monchique fires made their way to his house.
Luckily, the flames did not reach his neighbourhood but the general situation was incredibly frightening.
We saw how violently the flames raged around the racetrack and how quickly they spread with the wind.
Before having dinner that night, we could see from the top of the Monte Canelas hill that the flames were approaching and at one point we truly thought civil protection services were going to drive by at any moment to evacuate us.
Seeing how quickly a fire can destroy so much land definitely puts things into perspective, and makes you realise how fast your own home can become endangered.
We have to thank the Bombeiros who tackled the blaze for their courage, determination and willingness to put their lives on the line to save others. The amount of donations made to the local firefighting forces was also impressive and proved that the local community is thankful for their work.
John Carragher, Portimão