A great fire is always a tragedy. A great tragedy. It means that images which are part of the memories of many people disappear forever, it chars thousands of hectares, it disrupts many lives, in this case those of the residents of Ribera d'Ebre, and injects an anxiety into many, many families, who for a long time will gaze in shock at how their world has changed. A great fire has terrible consequences even if, as in the case of this week's wildfire, there have been no fatalities, unlike what happened in 2009 in Horta de Sant Joan , in Catalonia's Terra Alta county, when five firefighters died.
But a fire, a tragedy, is also a great occasion to express solidarity. And it has been so this time too, thanks to anonymous companies and citizens who, in a range of ways, offered their support to those affected. It is also a good opportunity to evaluate the performance of bodies such as the firefighters and the emergency services. In these situations, Catalonia is in the hands of great professionals who know what they are dealing with. The specific criticisms made have not questioned the work done, in which decisions were often taken in a matter of seconds or minutes.
At a time when we are used to the discourse, sometimes accurate and sometimes exaggerated, that the Catalan government is running at less, even a lot less, than optimum power, the two ministers that have been most present on the ground, interior minister Miquel Buch and agriculture minister Teresa Jordà have acted effectively coordinating the different actors in the fight against the fire in the territory affected, informing the various authorities involved and helping the victims. This should be recognized, because if not, what happens typically will happen again: the talk will be about the statements that different people have made, not about the fire and the individuals affected.