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Fire on the Paardeberg

Fire on the Paardeberg

A few days ago across the back of Sonkop a plume of dark red smoke emerged. We know that kind of smoke very well: it spells fire much too close for comfort. Fortunately the South Wester was blowing the fire away from both us and our neighbour at Uitvlught, but wind easily changes direction. The fire consumed a fair amount of land on the other side of the mountain and then spread along to the hill behind Uitvlucht – taking hold in a line of gums. Farmers in the area including our team made their way to the top and attacked the fire but their victory was short-lived. During the night it re-emerged and much more dangerously, a separate line of fire began its run down a fynbos mountain ravine. And nobody can get to that.

On day two fire services entered the picture and bombed the fire with fixed wing planes bellies full of water, and choppers dragging their large water bags. Day three it seems to be out but we are watching carefully.

Apart from the fire being kept far from the farm, we are grateful that the wind throughout meant that our vineyards were not in smoke. In the big fire of 2011 we lost our a harvest entirely to smoked grapes

We feel greatly appreciative of fire services for their help and all neighbours involved

I forgot altogether to photograph the fire being on tenterhooks but here are a few pics taken by others and a sequience of the chopper loading and dropping water