A few weeks ago the South Western part of the Overberg was troubled by run away fires. Tens of thousands hectares were affected but the fire fighters managed to save all houses and agricultural land. They (mainly volunteers) did a great job.
Both main pictures were shot last week in the Elgin Valley. The gallery pictures were made at one of the fires near Stanford.
A trace of destruction is what’s left of a raging ‘veld’ fire between Stanford and Gansbaai in the Overberg, South Africa. Until so far the affected area has a surface that exceeds that of the city bowl of Cape Town PLUS Table Mountain…
Photo’s (this morning) of the smoke shot at a distance of about 10 kilometers.
One thing people never seem to learn with this kind of veld fires is that a fire is only fully under control when there is no smoke…
Chicken farms are safe (for the moment; one never knows if the wind will turn or not). Road between Stanford and Gansbaai closed (with ‘lucky’ intervals) because of smoke and jumping fire crossing the road.
Great job of local fire fighters and their volunteers added with local farmers and their staff and many, many other volunteers. Hats of for the chopper pilots!!!
The fire between Gansbaai and Stanford is fully out of control.
Disaster tourism caused several traffic jams and in the village people are collecting food and drinks for the fire fighter of whom many have been in action for more than 24 hrs without a decent break.
The last few weeks Cape Town was on fire and to be honest it was an overkill of news from the fire front with lots of repeats, nonsense and so on. It became global news but yes it was in Cape Town and it was only 5500 hectare. A few years ago there was also a fire; here near Stanford: 25,000 hectare. It got a five-liner in a Capetonian newspaper but than for Capetonians this area is somewhere ‘abroad’. The fire in the Klein Rivier Mountains was far more ‘devastating’ for people and animals alike. Except for the baboons (here only 14 troops) far more diversity in animal- and plant-life than in the Cape Peninsula.
Well here follows what we blogged at the time:
For the third time within one year we experienced a mountain fire. This is a fynbos area and there seems to be a fynbos specie which roots start to burn spontaneously . Fynbos needs a fire every 10 years or so otherwise seeds won’t germinate. It’s a pure natural process but for human beings in a contemporary world very inconvenient. No electricity for 24 hours and no internet for 36 hrs; the latter due to the fact that Telkom forgot to turn a switch into adsl-mode… It’s Sunday you know and it’s Festive Season here in South Africa…. But the guys of the fire-brigade (virtually all volunteers) did a tremendous job and we all admire them greatly!!!
The picture shows the fire on Friday night and was taken about 10 kilometers from the nearest point of the fire with a 300mm lens. In total 25-thousand hectares went in smoke including 8 holiday homes and 3 boats. No people injured. Fires like this spread rapidly especially during drought periods and a bit of wind. The fire started Thursday at the other side of the mountain and Friday afternoon local politicians said to a journalist of a local newspaper that the fire was under control and just after that hell broke loose…… There are still journalists, so it seems, who believe in politicians….
In the beginning of this year there were some devastating fires (leaving about 20,000 hectare nature in a desolate black state) around our village. The fires inspired a few kids to start another fire opposite our house but within a few hours the local fire brigade was in control and the ‘culprits’ (between 8 and 14 yrs of age) caught.
After 5 months it’s nicely recovering though.