Fire strikes Simon’s Town




In the somber light of dawn, we view the terrible destruction caused by the runaway fire which raged through Simon’s Town over the last two days.   The acrid scent of scarred vegetation greets us, but luck is on our side with welcome rain last night.  Thirteen ‘structures’ were affected with three homes being totally destroyed and the homeowners lives shattered.   It is doubly disastrous as arson is suspected as the cause of the fire.  A heartfelt tribute goes to the City of Cape Town’s fire crew and the emergency teams who worked round the clock to extinguish the blaze and keep the residents safe.

For further images see photographer Justin Sullivan’s captures of the devastation of the Simons Town blaze.


21 thoughts on “Fire strikes Simon’s Town

    1. Yes! Thank goodness as this fire raged out of control with the wind pushing it all over the place. All credit to the COCT for a really sterling effort. They have really jacked up training and getting the fire crewa properly equipped whether permanent staff or volunteer. Even the NSRI were on standby off the coast with a spotter plane co-ordinating from the skies.

      1. Fortunately not one person injured nor loss of life. I worry about the wildlife on the moutain, but the enviromental ecologists tell us that nature balances through evolving with fire adaptive processes.

      2. Well nature has had a tough time recently, I imagine a lot of wildlife and plants are only just recovering from those dreadful fires last year (or was it this year?)

    1. Yes, so senseless and devastating for those who lost their homes. The mountain will repair as the ecology of the fynbos vegetation needs fire, but heartfelt thoughts for those who must rebuild their lives.

    1. The botanists reckon that the plants, particularly the protea stands were well overdue for a burn. That’s the beneficial side though the downside is the destruction to the human habitat, and the homes that were gutted. Fortunately it was brought under control and then it rained. Thank goodness!

    1. Yes, it’s very sobering to learn that a house can be razed to the ground in 4 minutes flat. The scenes here of the gutted homes are unbelievable – that there is nothing left, barring a pile of rubble. Oh Gilly, it is so sad.

    1. Yes, the forensic guys will collect any evidence. Two fires within two months started in the same area gets the suspicions going. It was a weird swing of emotions to come so close to losing everything to having to get back down again to the humdrum routine of what to cook for supper and carry on as normal? Hearfelt thoughts for those who did lose everything. The fire crews were tremendous and thank goodness for the helicopter pilot who water-bombed the advancing flames at my neighbour’s house. It was a close call for us!

      1. Glad to know you were physically unscathed Liz, though the experience must have been terribly agonising and I can also imagine your anguish at what happened to your friends and neighbours.

  1. If arson is the cause, that is very sad. Your pictures do capture the remnants well. in a positive stance (if there could be one at this time) is I like how…after the ground has been burnt… the green shoots that pop afterwards carry such hope and joy…

  2. How tragic for those that lost their homes, particularly if the fire was deliberately set. Arson and carelessness are responsible for many serious fires in Andalucia, Southern Spain during the dry months, and this summer deliberate fire setting was a major problem in areas of South Wales too, where natural fires are definitely not a natural phenomenon.

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