Fire theories

There have been some wildfires recently. And while arson is likely to be the cause of some of them, could there be something even more sinister behind that arson?

Only yesterday, High Empress of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, sent out this tweet, “just asking” if the recent wildfires could be “accidental or coincidental”.

[EDIT: Actually, this is a SA Weather Service map showing warning for “veld fire conditions” (and “extreme heat”), not actual fires.]

To be honest, we’re all well aware that she has jumped on the conspiracy theory bandwagon and is “#justasking” if the ANC has a deliberate, coordinated arson campaign in full swing in order to “destabilise the [DA-run] Western Cape”. And even then, is that “accidental” or “coincidental”?
In my view, it’s neither. I think that would be “deliberate” and “coordinated”.

The trouble is, even in sharing the image above, Helen has basically answered her own unasked question. The fires are all in red or brown areas – marked as such because they are very dangerous or extreme risk for wildfires. Next to some of the fire icons are thermometer icons. They show that there is a heatwave, adding to the fire risk. And then there’s the green bit towards the south and east of the province. Limited fire risk there. And no fires. And then there are the those three fires icons in the [ANC-run] Northern Cape. Bit of an own goal there, ne?

So wildfires in fire season in high risk wildfire areas, during a heatwave, in the middle of a drought? Yeah. Sounds like an ANC campaign to me. [pops on tinfoil hat]

Cape Town will always suffer from wildfires though, because of the volcanic mountain on our doorstep. I think most people are unaware of this – obviously the city wouldn’t want panic to ensue when the 4.5 million residents realised that they were living right on top of an explodey volcanological time-bomb. So they’ve not mentioned it.

Sadly, thanks to this erstwhile FB user, the cat are now out of the bag.

Yeah. I mean, how unlikely is that cigarette or arson theory when you look at the “Lions Head is a sleeping volcano” reasoning. Of course, Lions Head isn’t a sleeping volcano, it’s sandstone on top of Cape granite (see here), as any meteorologist will tell you (once they’ve… er… stopped foolishly looking at the weather), but don’t let that stand in your way as you crash wildly through the fragile boundaries of reality and into your scary, alternate, “everything is going to repeatedly be set on fire and they’re not telling us why” dimension.

Wait… OMG! Fires on hot days? I hadn’t linked the two. Ever. She might actually be correct. I mean, it never burns in winter, does it? You know: Winter, when the volcanic mountains go cold for several months and there are no wildfires. Checkmate, skeptics!

And just in case you are still a non-believer:

Well, California, South and East Australia, OregonPeru and Canada, just off the top of my head. And, weirdly, all in summer. And double weirdly, all in places where the ANC wasn’t in power. And treble weirdly, all in places where the local authorities haven’t told residents that they’re living on top of a explodey volcanological time-bomb, even when they’re not.

Suddenly. It. All. Fits.

And our Facebooking friend has some advice for those who are commenting on her post:

Yeah. I mean, honestly. If you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to the volcano mountain or the natural annual fires, then just don’t get involved, ok? Just like she didn’t.

Sadly, this being the internet, and her theories being utterly laughable, some people did get involved and the lady making the volcano suggestions was on the receiving end of some not inconsiderable ridicule. And then, this being the internet, someone defended her, and so she said this:

Yeah, immatured people. Please actually think logically when you’re participating in matured conversations like ones about volcanoes which aren’t volcanoes lighting fires on extremely unbearably hot days.

Honestly. It’s not hard.

  • Jeremy Setzer

    I am surprised they didn’t blame Devil’s Peak (we all know how hot hell is) or that fellow Van Hunks…
    The most recent theory I have seen is that the Kishugu group are having the fires started to increase revenues for the Working on Fire teams.

  • Ami Kapilevich

    Not sure Zille was implicating the ANC, 6000. Would be interesting to see data on the frequency of the summer fires. If arsonists get away with it, the become emboldened. So it’s important to recognise and identify it as arson, and take measures to prevent it.

  • 6000coza

    Jeremy Setzer > The theories abound. In the FB thread, there were also mentions of Feng Shui and Satan, so you could be onto something.

    Ami Kapilevich > Well, in the replies to her tweet, HZ shouts down the “disgraceful implication” that the firefighters might be in any way to blame (see Jeremy Setzer’s comment), but allows the ANC theory to stand unchallenged. So, just as she was #justasking (although I’m not sure exactly what she was just asking), I’m #justsaying.

  • Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling

    A theory put around by a man in the pub is that there is a vast increase in miserable northerners visiting from mud island at this time of year.
    You can spot them always wearing beer stained wife beaters & constantly smoking cheap tabs.
    One reckons this has more than a ring of truth to it.

  • 6000coza

    Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling > Miserable northerners? Mud island? Beer-stained wife beaters? Cheap tabs?
    Sounds like (Uns)Table View to me. But I think the island is called “Woodbridge”, no?

  • Arthur Streeb-Greebling Snr

    Ha! We were imbibing overpriced ale at Rascals in Kenilworth when this conversation came up. Northern Monkey central.
    Table View on der other hand Darrin is full of delightful happy go lucky people from the the southern side of Watford Gap. COYI.

  • 6000coza

    Arthur Streeb-Greebling Snr > Jesus. Rascals. Seek (miserable northerners visiting from mud island wearing beer stained wife beaters & constantly smoking cheap tabs) and you shall find. Rod for your own back there, mate.