We were on our way home after a trip to the local grocery store when we noticed the pall of black smoke billowing over the Red Hill mountain ridge. Like a dragon exhaling a plume of fiery breath, flames licked along the rocky edge in a raging inferno. The Cape fire crews are fighting another devastating fire burning out of control across the peninsula mountains in the deep south. Southeasterly winds are howling at gale force driving the blaze through tinder dry vegetation. According to estimates already 1000 hectacres have burned. The fire is reported to have started near the Red Hill informal settlement then onwards threatening the coastal villages of Scarborough and Misty Cliffs. It spread towards the back of Kommetjie village today destroying seven homes in the rasta settlement and encroaching into Ocean View. The City has rolled out it’s disaster management teams; Table Mountain National Parks (TMNP), Working on Fire (WOF) and Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) are all pitching in while airside five helicopters and two fixed wing planes are waterbombing from above.
My thoughts go out to the communities in peril tonight, and I think of the bravery of the fire crews who have the challenge of a long night ahead as they battle this mad, towering inferno.