However, emergency services are still on the scene.
Still. Two days later.
Just in case.
I was heading back up towards the homestead from the magnificence of the Claremont CBD with the boy yesterday evening when we spotted some smoke (lots of smoke) billowing up from somewhere local. Well, we could have gone straight home, or we could have gone fire-chasing.
We went fire-chasing.
Since this had been a quick trip down to a local fitness centre, mostly populated by children, I hadn’t brought my camera with me. It’s just not the done thing. But that was a bit of a drawback when we inadvertently went fire-chasing. Still, I think my phone did ok, all things considered.
The fire was in Trovato Park, just above where the M3 goes over the top of Edinburgh Drive. There’s quite a population of homeless folk that live there, and the fire crews present were certainly of a mind that they were the cause of the blaze. It had taken on the dry grass and pine needles very quickly, and had leapt up the trunks of at least three of the trees in the park.
That said, it wasn’t much of a blaze and was already under control when we got there. The smoke was more of an “all mouth and no trousers” affair, although with the sun heading down over the mountain, it did allow for some nice shots through the trees, and prime Instagram fodder.
You can see my mini set of 9 very similar images* here.
* because of the nature of what I was ‘togging, it was rather difficult to get any other angles. I would have got burny feet syndrome.
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, Oregon, Peru 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.
We found ourselves with a few thousand safety matches in a plastic bag. It’s probably best that you don’t ask how this came to be. Anyway, aside from gooi’ing the whole lot onto the braai to see what would happen, there were a few other ideas. One of these was to take 1/4000 second exposure photos of the matches igniting as dusk fell.
I guess I was inspired by last week’s Slo-Mo guys video.
Sadly, 1/4000 really isn’t fast enough to be Slo-Mo, if you see what I mean. Still, one lives, one learns.
The first experiment went well enough that I was encouraged by my 10-year old son (and official lightee of the matches) to try a larger, second attempt. Somewhat buoyed by the success of initial effort together with a certain amount of Castle Milk Stout, I agreed to give it another go. The second attempt was rather less successful, mainly because the flames decided to turn on the photographer (me) – as the three photos below testify:
The good news is that the doctors say my eyebrows should grow back fairly quickly.
Other photos from the weekend (including a bit more night photography) are here.
After Friday’s cold front, the long weekend came good with some fresh, bright weather.
Making hay, we headed down to Cape Agulhas and did stuff like braai, y-bike along the road with the daughter, walk along the beach with the beagle and light a big fire (in the fireplace, not some sort of random arson).
I’d share a photo, but I’m still working on getting large photos onto blog posts. It’s not as simple as it seems. I’ll get there.
It’s red wine and brandy weather too.
Please excuse me while I recognise this.