Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Cape Town fire burns through the Deep South



Fire after it broke out above Muiz.


A fire broke out above Muizenberg on the evening of the 1st of March. It has since been wrecking destruction through the Deep South, burning thousands of hectares of vegetation in its path. Several homes as well as a holiday lodge have been lost in the fire. 



Hundreds of fire fighters and volunteers are out in full force trying to battle this massive fire. An additional 250 fire fighters from 3 other provinces were brought in to fight against the fire which is causing immense destruction. The valley community have come together in offering their support and giving in donations to various centres throughout the Deep South.


A fire fighter was injured, and 52 elderly were sent to hospital for smoke inhalation. The retirement home in Noordhoek was evacuated along with a few residential homes in the area.


Fire burning on Chapmans.
Hout Bay, Tokai and Fish Hoek are the latest areas to have been affected by the roaring Cape Town Fire. The fire is currently burning its way down the mountain behind Clovelly Golf Course, where the crackling of burning trees and vegetation can be heard. Ashes are starting to fall heavily within Clovelly. According to the local fire station in Fish Hoek, ''the resources are stretched. '' Tokai is at present being evacuated. The fire is blazing dangerously close to the houses above Boyes Drive.


The roads of Ou Kaapse Weg, Boyes Drive and Chapmans Peak were closed which caused grid lock throughout the valley. A large part of the Silvermine Nature Reserve located on Ou Kaapse Weg has been severely affected. 


Combined with the dryness of the vegetation and heat there has been an increase in fires this past summer in the Western Cape. Mudslides might be expected when the rain comes. 


When the fires have been extinguished there will still be many hours of work to be done. 


I personally have never seen a fire sweep our city such as this before in my lifetime ( I was too young to remember when the fire of 2000 hit) and I hope never to again.

 
Peninsula burns.

5 comments :

Steve said...

it's similar to 2000 when we first came out there. We were reading the news on board the RMS Caronia and wondering if there would be anything left. There was of course but Ou Kapse Weg and the same area around Silvermine was like a moonscape and it came very close to the place we same in Klein Constantia and we hearing the stories of evacuation and worry. Stay safe.

Marilyn Cattell said...

The very first time we came to CT in Jan 2000 fires had raged over Silvermine. It looked like a lunar landscape. These fires look far more widespread. At least no one has died. Devestating for the wildlife though. We know the fynbos will recover. Stay safe.

Sabine and Alfie - Epic Enabled said...

Thanks Marilyn, thank you for your passion and thoughts. The problem is that all the “alien” trees (not indigenous Fynbos or Proteas) are burning at a much hotter temperature and longer then the indigenous vegetation. This destroys everything. Our tortoises, snakes & other small animals can all survive an “insidious fire” as this is very fast, not as hot and is part of the process of spreading new seeds etc. Unfortunately with the alien trees, it is just a huge devastation and it destroys everything in its path. Very sad to see it all destroyed and hope it can recover. It is certainly one of the biggest/widespread fires I have seen in Cape Town.

Marilyn Cattell said...

I understand about the vegetation, but they said the same thing back in 2000. But I think this one is more widespread. Our friends in Noordhoek ( they live near the Red Kipper) were evacuated last night at 2 am. Back home at 8.30 after spending the night in their car in the car park....were you there too? I hear there has been rain. Has it been enough? Our thoughts are with you, it's a terrifying time.

Sabine and Alfie - Epic Enabled said...

Thanks Steve & Marilyn for your concern. We were fortunate, our house was never in any danger as we are quite a distance from the ‘fire-line’ away. It is a huge area that has been affected (they say over 5000 hectares), but to my relieve I found it not as bad as I originally feared it would be. There are completely burnt areas where there is literally only sand and rock left over, but there are also areas where there are still green bushes of fynbos & proteas and they will recover. We are just hoping the wind does not get too strong to restart the small smouldering areas which are still going. Unfortunately there is a new fire at the Cape Point which the ‘Hero-Firefighters’ have to keep fighting now.