Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The day the mountain burned...

Cape Town gets very hot and dry in summer. Prety much a tinder-box actually. Yet people still flick their cigarettes around carelessly. 

Yesterday some moron did just so, without a second thought I am sure. However thanks to a critical mix of hot, dry and wind it was not just a case of careless littering, but rather gross neglegence, and arson actually.

The mountain rapidly went up in smoke, literally. I was driving home and saw a big brown billow of smoke come over the mountain behind Lion's Head. I actually almost called home to ask if they'd set A's house alight. Just a few minutes later I got a call to say the fire was indeed right there right by the house. What!?

The house is right at the top of Fresnaye and literally across the road from the mountain reserve which was on fire. The house actually has a fire hose. Which Quinn took out and 'hosed shit down' as he told me via whatsapp. Apparently the neighbours were doing the same. Thankfully the houses are not very flamable and there's not much garden or flamable stuff that side appart from the grass and bush across the road. So the fire stayed on the other side of the road.

It is a very narrow road though, 2 cars can barely pass, you have to stop manoever if anyone drives the other way while you are on it, and it is steep and has a sharp bend at the end. The fire was right at (and I think caused by the labourers at) the building site at the end of the road. So when I tired to get home there was just no way I could get there. The road was blocked by trucks, people, cars... A Lambourghini was making a swift get away when I arrived. There was no visisbility it was baking hot and so smokey too. I'd wanted to get home asap, get baby and boys and get the hell out of there, but I couldn't get anywhere near the house or within 3 roads actually.

I ended up going back down to Seapoint to watch from afar and went to a coffee shop and was chatting to Q on Whatsapp to keep up to date. He sent me photos and a running commentary. He said they could hear the fire crackling and roaring. They had closed themselves inside at that point and were ok. Although the house was full of smoke and ash.

I think every fire-truck in Cape Town was there and they had 2-3 choppers bringing water from the sea too, but they were being buffetted and thrown around in the wind, so I think it was quite dangerous...

The wind was something else. There are some stainless steel railings which were put around the pool for chil-proofing for the Thanksgiving dinner on the week-end. They are HEAVY. They were blown across the balcony, blew over and some blew into the pool!

It is so sad to see the damage on the mountian. And the poor firemen were there late late, and I saw some this morning too, so they maye have been monitoring it through the night.

It actually could have been a  lot worse. But it still makes me sad to think about the desctructiona nd decimation of such wonderful nature. I hope it rains soon so it can start to heal.

This was the smoke I saw on the way home.
The house is just down the other side of that mountian right in the smoke...
View image on Twitter

This is the view from the side of the house... hence why I was so worried...

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