If you compare this photo to the one in my previous post, that was taken last night, you can see that the fires are closer. They must be getting quite close to the suburbs high up the mountainside.
Tag Archives: fire
There has been a fire around Stellenbosch for the past few days and last night it had spread onto Helderberg, above Somerset West. This photo was taken from my front garden in Strand.
Besides the flare-up above Gordons Bay there is also a fire front moving rapibly along the Kogelbaai coastline towards Rooiels. I managed to get through onto the coast road shortly before it was closed again, and took these photos from various points along Kogelbaai.
The fire that devastated parts of Gordons Bay on Monday night and that was reported as under control yesterday, has flared up again. These photos I took about two hours ago at the water treatment plant show smoke rising over the mountain top and drifting down towards False Bay.
I returned to Gordons Bay on Tuesday to see what would be visible by the light of day. We drove in via the lower, beach road and saw that the mobile command centre and numerous fire vehicles, with resting firemen, were still set up in the parking lot alongside Spur.
We drove to Bikini Beach which was virtually empty, probably due to the high winds and the smoky smell still lingering in the air. I had the idea of driving up to the water treatment plant where a good view of the area is possible, but found that the R44 was still blockaded so we stopped of at the whale-watching point from where I took these photos of the burnt area towards Bikini Beach where the fire had jumped the road.
Looking up the mountain side we could see that there was still fire, well smoke anyway, up near the water treatment plant. We drove back along the upper road and could see that having a hose along one of the valleys coming down the mountain is a bad idea as these seemed to have acted as channels for the fire to come down off the mountain. I saw one of the gutted houses along one of these and others with damage, like charred wooden decks.
By Wednesday afternoon the fire fighting effort must have been all over as I saw the mobile command centre bus coming through Strand on it’s way back to the city.
When I woke yesterday I saw that there was a big fire over the mountains in the Overberg and as the day went on it seemed to be moving further away. Last night I was away from my computer and other news sources until late. When I finally logged on, Twitter was all atweet about the fire, which had turned and had been raging out of control along the mountain side above Gordons Bay. Fromtheold had been reporting via Twitter and via photos on his blog. Just after midnight I decided to go and take a look, grabbing my camera as I headed out the door.
When I got there I discovered that police had blocked access on both the upper and lower roads into Gordons Bay. I stopped before the roadblocks to take a few shots and found that the wind was blowing a gale, clearly what lead to the ferocity of the fire; this made taking photos in low light conditions difficult.
After taking these shots I noticed that one of the narrower residential streets was not blocked off so I started making my way towards Bikini beach, stopping along the way to take some more photos.
I eventually found my way onto the lower beach road inside the cordoned off area, from where I went to Bikini Beach. The photograph on the left below is roughly the same view that Fromtheold posted, where the fire had burned right down to the waterline. The other photo shows a few remaining hotspots on the mountain side above Bikini Beach.
The sky was cloudless but filled with smoke, giving the moon a red glow that reflected on the water.
There were still many flashing red lights from fire trucks along the mountain side and with access being restricted, darkness hiding the costs of the fire and the wind making photography difficult, I headed home; but will return later today to see what daylight reveals.
There is a bad fire raging on the slopes of Helderberg above Somerset West. I took this shot from my front garden in Strand, approximately six kilometres away from the mountain.