A blog covering life and happenings in Cape Town

Saturday, December 18, 2004


;Posted by Hello

One of the helicopters fighting the fire

This weekend we have had a large bushfire raging on the Tygerberg.

It was spotted on Friday afternoon when it broke out in two spots at more or less the same time.

Temperatures in Cape Town soared into the 30's on Friday and the combination of the heat and strong wind soon fanned the small fire into an inferno.

The Tygerberg Nature Reserve is well known for its Fynbos and as it has been very dry this year and the bush on the mountain slopes was very dry it was inevitable that if a fire broke out it would soon spread.

After the fires that devastated Cape Town back in 2000 a special fire watch has been set up and a number of fire fighting helicopters have been stationed near Kirstenbosch to fight the fires.

Once the alarm had been raised it only took minutes for the two fire fighting helicopters to go into action.

A number of fire fighters and vehicles were also deployed on the ground to assist the helicopters as well.

Fire fighting helicopters have to find their own water to be able to fight the fires.

Luckily on the Tygerberg there are a number of dams and the helicopters were soon dropping their water bags into them to obtain water for fighting the fires.

It took the helicopters a number of hours to get the fires under control and as it got dark they flew back to their base.

From afar one could still see flames licking at the bushes.

Unfortunately for the firefighters and helicopters the fire started up again fanned by the strong wind.

They were forced to return to the fire and continued fighting it during the course of Saturday.

It appears tonight (Saturday) that the fire is finally out.

I am sure that anybody who walks through the fire ravaged area in the next few days will be most surprised to find fish in the middle of the burnt out area.

The dam that the helicopters were using to scoop water from is full of fish and it is inevitable that some of them must have landed up in the water scoops.

Hopefully it was only fish that got caught.

Apparently there was a fire in a forest in the USA and helicopters fighting the fire scooped water out of the sea to fight the fire with.

After the fire was out firefightrs inspecting the damage came across a diver in full diving suit including flippers lying on the mountain slopes.

When they worked it out they found that he had been diving in the area where the helicopters were collecting their water and had ended up in the water scoop and been dumped on the fire.

What a way to go.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a fantastic Christmas and a prosperous 2005.

May all your New Year's resolutions come true.

Geoff Fairman

Turtle Essays latest ezine is online now.
You can find it at Http://www.turtlesa.com/ezine116.html


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