A COUNCILLOR recently elected on to the Lancashire Fire and Rescue board narrowly escaped as bush fires threatened to engulf his holiday hotel.
Hyndburn Council Leader and newly-elected County Councillor Peter Britcliffe, watched in amazement as the normally picturesque mountains of L'Estartit, in the Costa Brava succumbed to raging bush fires.
Councillor Britcliffe, who was enjoying a summer holiday with his daughter Sara, 14, and 20-year-old son Dominic, watched the fires with a number of other guestsfrom their balcony, after they were all been put on evacuation alert.
Councillor Britcliffe said: "My balcony overlooked the mountain and the ferociousness of the fire really was amazing.
"It was fate we weren't evacuated because on the morning of the fire there had been really strong winds, which would of wiped out my hotel and the others nearby.
"It is believed the fire started after a broken piece of glass magnified the sun rays.
"Watching the planes and helicopter trying to put out the flames with water they had collected from the sea was amazing. At one point there was nearly a crash between a plane and a helicopter, which left us all with our hearts in our mouths.
"We were all astonished at the bravery of the rescue service. They were still damping down 24 hours later."
This latest travellers’ tale comes two years after Councillor Britcliffe had to be rescued from a river with turbulent currents and rapids.
He was trying to splash water on himself, with water from the River Orb in the Languedoc region of France, when he fell head first into the water.
Seeing he was in trouble, a German tourist dived into the water to rescue him.
Councillor Britcliffe said: "It’s quite ironic really, I've just been appointed on to the Fire and Rescue board and I go on holiday and nearly have to be rescued myself.
"I have been quite unlucky on holiday, first water then fire. I am going to have to be more careful."