The Stellenbosch fires

Burning tree stumps
I was just complaining to friends that this summer has been fairly cool in comparison to previous years... and then today happened. It's really really hot in Cape Town.

The fires that started in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve have spread, threatening the town of Stellenbosch. They have in fact approached the edge of town, university property and even homes. Kerry-Anne and I took a drive out to Stellenbosch this evening to see what was happening with our own eyes. Click here to see the photos that I've uploaded to our photo album.

I had a brief opportunity to speak with one of the firefighters who came down from the bush in his vehicle to help lead a fire engine up to where the fire was raging. His blackened hands, the perspiration on his brow, and the way he said "It's not good" in answer to my question about how it was going, gave away how serious this fire could be.

An interesting thing that I noticed was that even though he'd been battling the fire for what must have been more than 12 hours already, he was still friendly and ready to kick some fire ass. A fireman is truly a different breed of person - and perhaps one who's sadly only really appreciated when fire threatens what we hold dear.

3 thoughts on “The Stellenbosch fires

  1. Beverley

    We were in the Stellenbosch area ourselves yesterday but were not aware of any of this until we got back into town – and yes it was hot!!

    I agree firefighters through out the world do seem to be a special breed of person and not always appreciated as they should be.

    From this photo Paul it looks as if you were quite close to a section of the actual fire. It’s amazing how nature has a way of coming back from something like this and in a few months thankfully there will be new shoots of grass and plants showing through..

  2. Nicholas


    I went to Stellenbosh on Friday with 4 other friends – We are Volunteer fire fighters and we decided to go help.

    The fires were crazy! We struggled from 7pm to 4am.

    We were at Mont Fleur (Spelling?!?)

    I took a bunch of pictures which I’ll upload to my Flickr as soon as I get online again.

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