A group of us had a glorious paddle on the Klein River in Stanford under the almost full moon last night with flocks of birds swirling above and the night sounds of crickets and frogs in the background. When experiencing the abundance of nature like this one becomes all the more more aware of how much has been lost in the extensive and all-consuming fires on the South Peninsula of Cape Town. This video of the devastation left in the wake of the fires, from News24 and taken from a drone, brings home just how much has been lost. Where until just a few days ago sweeping stands of proteas and pincushions and restios gladdened the eye, there is now just scorched earth.
The last great fire that swept over the Cape Peninsula was in 2000. Many fynbos species rely on fire for seed germination and renewal and the optimal time between burning out the old to allow regeneration to take place is fifteen years. Some of the areas affected have burnt more recently. Let us still hope that even these areas will be able to regenerate and that within a few months our beautiful mountains will once again be clad in a new cloak of fynbos.
In Jan 2000 the mountains shown below were as barren and ash-covered as the they are now seen in the video above.
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