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  1. #101
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Searcher View Post
    Sorry, but I see a huge difference between "Opposition to spending money to repair Notre Dame" and "Celebrating the Burning down of the UCT library"

    Mbhazima Shilowa questions those 'celebrating' the burning of UCT's library with 'our own stories'

    https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/sou...r-own-stories/
    Keep in mind that stories about students mourning the loss of the library does not make 'spectacular' headlines.
    Probably a much larger segment than those celebrating....to score cheap political points

    I looked up the english for 'treur' in my paper handheld dictionary
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  3. #102
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Hi Peter, no they don't. Some of the material had been digitised, but much of it hadn't. It's a massive process, especially as many of the donated collections are in the process of being catalogued.
    Thanks Tony for the Heads up >> I was just repeating what the young UCT Spokesman said on TV last night 8pm E TV News

  4. #103
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Pulling no punches, says it like it is.

    Listen here:
    https://omny.fm/shows/the-kieno-kamm...table-mountain

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #104
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    Keep in mind that stories about students mourning the loss of the library does not make 'spectacular' headlines.
    Probably a much larger segment than those celebrating....to score cheap political points

    I looked up the english for 'treur' in my paper handheld dictionary
    It's called bias confirmation. You see only what you want to see and disregard everything else.

  7. #105
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    With regard to how the fire got a hold on some of the buildings, I think it was a member of the fire department who said on TV that the ivy that adorns those buildings was also somewhere the embers probably lodged.

    Personally, I think that it was homeless people lighting a cooking fire on a hot day with a lot of wind. I doubt there was any grand plan of arson aimed at the campus.

    Not that I have any time for him, but that SRC member who posted the incendiary (pun intended) comments on Twitter: he did refer by name to the Rhodes Memorial. One would need to check the timeline of his post, but it could be that the fire had not spread very far at that stage, snd so I do wonder if he was actually referring to the University as a whole.

    I also doubt that the majority of the student body support those comments. In ancient times when I was at university I would have hated to be thought to be of the same mind and attitude of the more radical members of our SRC. Certainly very few of my circle were even interested in the SRC and what it was up to.
    Last edited by Ian.McM; 2021/04/20 at 09:49 PM.

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  9. #106
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian.McM View Post
    With regard to how the fire got a hold on some of the buildings, I think it was a member of the fire department who said on TV that the ivy that adorns those buildings was also somewhere the embers probably lodged.

    Personally, I think that it was homeless people lighting a cooking fire on a hot day with a lot of wind. I doubt there was any grand plan of arson aimed at the campus.

    Not that I have any time for him, but that SRC member who posted the incendiary (pun intended) comments on Twitter: he did refer by name to the Rhodes Memorial. One would need to check the timeline of his post, but it could be that the fire had not spread very far at that stage, snd so I do wonder if he was actually referring to the University as a whole.

    I also doubt that the majority of the student body support those comments. In ancient times when I was at university I would have hated to be thought to be of the same mind and attitude of the more radical members of our SRC. Certainly very few of my circle were even interested in the SRC and what it was up to.
    However, as in almost every democracy, there's a time for that moderate middle ground to stand up and say something. Be it virtual arsonists or literal poo throwers, the moderate have enough votes to send him on his way without the veneer of SRC office behind him. He shames those who support him as well as those who don't actively oppose. I get what Tony is saying about paying no attention to the idiot noise, but sometimes a statement needs to be made.

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  11. #107
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Searcher View Post
    Pulling no punches, says it like it is.

    Listen here:
    https://omny.fm/shows/the-kieno-kamm...table-mountain

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I mentioned to someone that they need to look at their firebreaks, as these obviously did not work. The soundclip above confirms this, plus non-functioning fire hydrants. I thought Sanparks would be better down there in the mother city, but am obviously mistaken - unfortunately they are still under control of the ruling party.

    Thankfully the winds died down today.
    Mike Lauterbach

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  13. #108
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    A quick look on Google Maps / Earth will show the extent of the SANParks firebreaks ............. but also the dense pine plantation on UCT property.
    Heritage value or not, it was a disaster waiting to happen, but all to easy to speak in hindsight I suppose.
    I have walked through those areas, there was plenty of natural fuel stacked all over the place.
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  15. #109
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    We've become realistic
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  17. #110
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    Not sure what "Africa" has to do with valuing history and heritage, it's a modern worldwide phenomenon, read up the opposition to spending money to repair Notre Dame. Hell, I know people my own age, good old colonial stock, that can't imagine why I value books that my grandparents left behind.

    Me, don't even use a kindle because I like the feeling of a book in my paws. It's personal, not cultural. In fact Africans are very reverend towards artifacts and history, superstitiously so, probably more than the average European.
    Their own artifacts, maybe, but those of others......?
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  19. #111
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    Not sure what "Africa" has to do with valuing history and heritage, it's a modern worldwide phenomenon, read up the opposition to spending money to repair Notre Dame. Hell, I know people my own age, good old colonial stock, that can't imagine why I value books that my grandparents left behind.

    Me, don't even use a kindle because I like the feeling of a book in my paws. It's personal, not cultural. In fact Africans are very reverend towards artifacts and history, superstitiously so, probably more than the average European.
    Have a read of "Dark Star Safari" by Paul Theroux, particularly the section about his visiting a Ugandan university library. Could just be an isolated incident of course while elsewhere there is reverence towards books, artefacts and history. Personally I have not seen it at all (including the natural environment) so an example or two would be good.

  20. #112
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    However, as in almost every democracy, there's a time for that moderate middle ground to stand up and say something. Be it virtual arsonists or literal poo throwers, the moderate have enough votes to send him on his way without the veneer of SRC office behind him. He shames those who support him as well as those who don't actively oppose. I get what Tony is saying about paying no attention to the idiot noise, but sometimes a statement needs to be made.
    Personally, I feel that statement should come from the University management.

  21. #113
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian.McM View Post
    With regard to how the fire got a hold on some of the buildings, I think it was a member of the fire department who said on TV that the ivy that adorns those buildings was also somewhere the embers probably lodged.

    Personally, I think that it was homeless people lighting a cooking fire on a hot day with a lot of wind. I doubt there was any grand plan of arson aimed at the campus.
    Maybe not specifically aimed at Campus, but it is a well known thing that the "Bergies" used to start fires and then get hired to help put them out in the past.
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnoK View Post
    Their own artifacts, maybe, but those of others......?
    As Tony has warned, don't fall into the trap of believing 1 vocal social media troll supported by 160 unconnected "likers" is representative of an entire continent. There will be thousands of UCT current and past students who are mounting the loss of these artifacts. And they're doing it in public and social media, bit nobody is dropping screenshots here. I'd do it, but it's pointless, even the most vehement critics here know it but can't get over the emotion of a poo-thrower posting on Twitter. Not forgetting that Tiny has also pointed out how many of the artifacts have been very well stored with excellent systems. I confess it surprised me and I'm suitably impressed.

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  24. #115
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Cheers
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  25. #116
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Fire breaks are really a misnomer. They don't stop fires with any kind of wind behind them. Most they provide a clear area with low fuel load which makes for a good refuge for fire fighters if they get trapped, and also a good place to start a back burn if appropriate (based on the conditions)

    I've personally seen spot fires starting several hundred meters ahead of the fire front as the wind carries embers, or columns of superheated air come down ahead of the fire. There's no man-made firebreak in the world that can stop that.

    The problem is fuel load in/on/around the buildings.

    The residents of upper Newlands/Bishopscourt/Rhodes Drive who have over the years successfully stopped any controlled burning of the vegetation on the mountain slopes above them, and allowed massive stands of alien vegetation to grow on their properties can count their lucky stars that this fire didn't come further south along the mountain. One day they will find out that you can either burn fynbos under controlled conditions, in winter, on windless days, with minimal risk; or you can have massive, out of control fires on windy days in the heat of summer.
    Last edited by niclemaitre; 2021/04/21 at 11:07 AM. Reason: spelling

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  27. #117
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    As someone who did my National service in the SA Navy, I had to partake on numerous occasions in firefighting excursions on Table Mountain and surrounding areas as well as in the mountains above Gordon's Bay. I can tell you that a fire in that area in a howling South Easter is a frightening experience! Forget about fire breaks and all sorts of fancy suggestions from desk bound commentators.

    All you can do is damage limitation. I have always held the personal view that in potential fire trouble spots, dedicated spotters should be on duty for certain periods of the year and as soon as smoke is spotted, a helicopter with a filled water bucket should be dispatched to put out the fire. If it happens to be a bergie's food fire, bad luck. Too many of these small fires have caused immeasurable damage. Time is of the essence in these situations.

    Of course good veld and vegetation management also form an important part of the whole scenario, but that is another discussion.
    Last edited by Francois Theron; 2021/04/21 at 12:41 PM.
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  29. #118
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Click image for larger version. 

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  31. #119
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois Theron View Post
    As someone who did my National service in the SA Navy, I had to partake on numerous occasions in firefighting excursions on Table Mountain and surrounding areas as well as in the mountains above Gordon's Bay. I can tell you that a fire in that area in a howling South Easter is a frightening experience! Forget about fire breaks and all sorts of fancy suggestions from desk bound commentators.

    All you can do is damage limitation. I have always held the personal view that in potential fire trouble spots, dedicated spotters should be on duty for certain periods of the year and as soon as smoke is spotted, a helicopter with a filled water bucket should be dispatched to put out the fire. If it happens to be a bergie's food fire, bad luck. Too many of these small fires have caused immeasurable damage. Time is of the essence in these situations.

    Of course good veld and vegetation management also form an important part of the whole scenario, but that is another discussion.
    Excellent idea!

    They could move the bored shark-spotters who seem to have no customers these days!

    Certainly looked like an uncontrollable situation on Sunday -I watched it progress from morning to evening -and it was clear that in the forested areas, the helicopters had no chance against 30m flames -and when the wind shifted a bit, they were quickly grounded by the smoke.

    Respect to those chopper PIC's and crew -looked very dangerous and harrowing.

    CoCT /Sanparks are bound to begin thinning and clearing the alien forests now on the slopes.
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Searcher View Post
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    I would love to see this same image in 12 months time - when the indigenous plant life has had time to rejuvenate.

    Which is one of the few "positives" that can come from this: A lot of different fynbosch, tolbos and protea species' seed is capsuled in a hard "husk" (for want of a better word). If it just falls to the ground it will not germinate, but needs something "catastrophic" (like a fire) to get the "husk" to burst open.

    Hopefully Cape Nature keeps their hands on the intruder species.
    Last edited by EttiennedK; 2021/04/21 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Spelling
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