We are going through a long heat wave at present - it's 1976 (the year of the famous UK drought) all over again and although we see tempting rain clouds going overhead, they pass over, rarely letting their precious droplets fall.
Everything is parched and tinder dry. So it was with some nervousness that the other evening, I heard the unmistakable crackling noise of fire coming from our other neighbour's property. It appeared to be coming from behind the adjoining (wooden) fence and near our (also wooden) top shed. I watched the smoke billowing out over the newly harvested barley field, taking scraps of hot ash with it and tried not to feel too fearful.
I began emailing a friend and then heard the rare sound of a siren coming quickly up our country lane. It was a fire engine. I ended my ongoing email rant about the bonfire next door and went outside to see not one, but two fire engines outside. My worst fears had been confirmed and the fire had spread out of control. We were soon visited by a nice Shropshire fireman, who inspected the shed and surrounding parts and reassured us that we should be alright as the fire had 'gone upwards'. Brian-next-door came out to see what was amiss and we all waited anxiously while the fire hoses did their work.
After another all round check from the nice fireman, we were told that it was a small garden bonfire that had spread, due to the dry conditions but was dealt with now. I admit I did have a few choice words about *people* (not the word I used) who lit fires in this weather, but later on our neighbour - who is actually rather nice - came round to apologise and we were all very forgiving and civilised about the incident because it was a genuine act of daftness and in the end, no harm was done.
My poor friend had sent me several frantic emails during this time, so I sent her the good news that we had not been burnt to a frazzle.