Fish Hoek writer and photgrapher, Karen Larsen, photographically illustrates the fires over the South Peninsula of Cape Town.

We thought it was all over.  The skies had cleared, we could breathe properly again and the ash that whirled around like snowflakes seemed to have settled after some gentle, welcome rain.  Then Hell’s furnace erupted again.

Barely a day after firefighters stopped the blazes that ran rampant across the Southern Peninsula for four days, more fire broke out, this time at Cape Point.  As if on cue, the wind picked up reaching galeforce by evening and fanned the blaze across more precious hectares of fynbos and nature reserve.  Weary firefighters and volunteers were pulled back into the fray.

Cape Town fires. Cape Point blaze sends smoke plumes behind Kommetjie lighthouse. Photo: Karen Larsen

Cape Town fires. Cape Point blaze sends smoke plumes behind Kommetjie lighthouse. Photo: Karen Larsen

Out at sea behind Kommetjie lighthouse, a long trail of smoke blowing from Cape Point resembled a low cloudbank, which looked like an angry bruise as the sun set over the ocean.  It was strangely beautiful, despite the tragic circumstances.

Cape Town fires. Cape Point blaze sends smoke plumes behind Kommetjie lighthouse. Photo: Karen Larsen

Cape Town fires. Cape Point blaze creates an angry bruise in the sky at Kommetjie. Photo: Karen Larsen

As the fire rescue choppers returned to base before nightfall marred their visibility, Noordhoek and Hout Bay recovered from four days of flames that saw properties damaged and families temporarily evacuated.

Cape Town fires: a fire rescue chopper returns to base with Hout Bay in the background. Photo: Karen Larsen

Cape Town fires: a fire rescue chopper returns to base with Hout Bay in the background. Photo: Karen Larsen