Saturday, September 09, 2006

Reality TV

Whoa, what a night we had here in Maberga a few days ago. We were grilling dinner out on the front patio when neighbor Gianni came running up to us looking rather distraught.

“Do you know the number to the Forestale?”

The Forestale is the Forest Patrol. The Forestale is responsible for busting you if you try to build something on your land in the country that you don’t have government approval for. There is a phone tree that is activated any time a neighbor spots a Forestale Jeep coming up the road. “Cover up your piles of sand, put away the cement mixer!” Ok, I’m exaggerating a little but not much.

The Forestale is also who you call when there is a fire in the mountains.

“What’s the number?!” Gianni shouted. “There is a fire on the next ridge and no one is attending to it!”

“We don’t know the number, but try 118 and tell them about the fire.” 118 is the Italian equivalent of the American 911.

So Gianni calls 118 and ASKS FOR THE NUMBER OF THE FORESTALE! Which he calls and gets no answer. “Shit!” He says.

David says, “Do you think you could tell the 118 guys about the fire?”

“Yeah, ok.” Gianni calls 118 again. “There is a fire. … Yes, I called the Forrestale but they didn’t answer. Thank you.”

Five minutes later we had two of these over head.

They dropped water on the fire and the area around to contain it.

Those folks just pulled off the road to watch.

After the helicopters left, the firemen took over …just to be sure it was out.

Phewww…that was a close one. There’s nothing quite like the helpless feeling of watching a forest fire burning out of control coming straight at your house. Maybe there’s one feeling worse…poor Mario down the road who has the house made of wood. Someone should write a story about that, oh, wait…

After we were sure the fire was being looked after we enjoyed a nice dinner on the patio and watched the moonrise.

Reality tv. I love it.


  1. olive---two things; one, i thought you were going to tell the world that the forestal either fined you or trashed your newly remodeled bedroom and two, aside from the harrowing experience of looking a forest fire right in the eye, the two pictures in your blog are simply beautiful

  2. bigsis7:41 PM

    WOW!! Excitement on the ridge!! That is very cool. Luckily they got to it before too much damage was done. I recall seeing pictures of forest fires by your home that one day that Max visited Italy. Remember? Sorry dad!!