I write this as a resident of Muizenberg where I have watched for 4 days as a fire has ravaged my mountain. I call this my mountain as it is a place that I spend many hours of my time, during the week and over the weekends reserve trail running with my dogs in silver mine reserve. How lucky I was to get 2 runs in this last weekend in the most amazing place, when the bushes, trees and fynbos was there! Little did I know that my next run would be very different?
From Sunday 1st March 2015 I watch as a fire started its way across the mountains from Pecks valley Muizenberg over to the Silvermine mountain range towards Hout Bay and Noordhoek fanned eventually by strong south-easterly winds With multiple teams from Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), Working on Fire (WoF) and the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) have dispatched more than 400 firefighters over the course of four days. Five helicopters, including two water bombers, one spotter and a helicopter from the Department of Defence, were up in the air trying to contain the fire. To no avail! All they could do was manage the fire and watch it take its course over 4 days. Put simple by one of the volunteers – “The fire is still continuing, it’s not contained at this stage, so it’s not a nice situation here, the wind is very strong, and visibility is very poor so we are actually struggling.”
No-one stood by and did nothing, residents of Cape Town put efforts in to aid firefighters by providing them with food and water and contributions to a Volunteer Wildfire Services fund to assist with much needed operational costs, such as fuel, vehicles, uniforms, firefighting equipment, where no amount is too small.
Roads were closed and residents in the southern suburbs had to battle along to get to work, while some stayed at home making plans to evacuate their homes. This has to be one of the worst fire in a decade here in Cape Town with 3000+ hectares of vegetation completely destroyed and home guttered.
CABS thanks all services for their commitment to fighting fire.