Published Aug 11, 2020As if Brian May wasn't already having a tough year — between coronavirus lockdown and battling numerous health issues, including suffering a life-threatening heart attack and (sort of hilarious) butt injury — the Queen guitarist has now had to stand up to massive wildfires encroaching on his home.
May detailed his latest struggle earlier this week, making sure to express thanks to the firefighters of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire for beating back the blaze, which engulfed 74 acres of a nearby golf course and had started making its way towards his house in England.
I never imagined it could happen here in leafy, and normally damp, Surrey, England. We supported the fight against the immense fires in Australia, and watched sadly as fires ravaged California, but to see this happen in my own home county has been shocking and traumatic.
Yesterday, I was rescuing as many precious things from my house as was practicable, under threat of the whole thing going up in flames, but praying that the horror would not happen. Today my prayers were answered - the fire is under control, but the danger is not over.
While this dry heatwave lasts there is still a massive risk of a flare-up leading to disaster. Perhaps even more shocking was learning today that this wonderful force, which is alert 24 hours a day to protect us all, has become tragically undersupported in recent years.
Just as the Government cuts sent the NHS into battle hideously crippled by lack of funding, the same lack of vision has rendered this country vulnerable to fires — with a fire fighting service criminally cut back in manpower and resources. Something has gone terribly wrong with our leaders' decision-making process. As long as we prioritise short-term economic gains over the lives of our people and the welfare of those who protects us, we will be a nation continually in danger. It becomes more and more clear that a radical rethink is needed.
THANK YOU, firefighters of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, and the maintenance team of Sunningdale Golf — for saving all our skins.
May has posted several photos showing the aftermath of the fire. You can check those out below.