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  1. #121
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    - some focus will be brought to SANPARKS through this fire
    -good thing too, by the sounds of it
    -almost getting the feeling that SANPARKS ( read 'ANC deployees therin') is 'sabotaging' tourism in CT through neglect
    -they best remember that vast revenues flow from CT to SANPARKS, and CT will surely look after it's own interests if it is forced to do so to protect tourists/hikers. -like they do in the City centre with the CID scheme.


    https://www.capetownetc.com/news/ano...tain-speak-up/


    After the fire that broke out on Sunday, April 18, several community and environmental organisations have released statements to establish their stance on the matter.
    Andy Davies, Chairperson of Friends of Table Mountain (FOTM) released the following statement.
    In the SANParks press release on April 20, SANParks CEO stated that the source of the Devils Peak fire was being investigated and that there are 120 SANParks rangers.
    Friends of Table Mountain note an earlier SANParks media release that stated “it was surmised that the origin of the fire is from a vacated vagrant fire”. FOTM can believe that this is the case based on the number of complaints about vagrant activity in this area and that 60% of fires on TMNP are started by vagrants.
    Whilst we need to be sensitive to the social issues facing South Africa, TMNP is a proclaimed national park and a UNESCO world heritage site, and the uncontrolled vagrancy on TMNP is resulting in fires, litter and crime. FOTM and others have been warning of this issue and the related fire danger over an extended period of time and the situation has become worse in recent times. SANParks have neglected their mandate to address this issue.
    Furthermore FOTM believes the statement that there are 120 rangers on TMNP is misleading. According to a recent SANParks website on “Safe Hiking in Table Mountain National Park” (Note: since removed) there are only 52 SANParks visitor safety rangers actively patrolling the park. (Visitor Safety Rangers are specifically assigned with law enforcement) However it is understood that these rangers are divided into 4 shifts resulting in only approximately 13 visitor safety rangers on the actual mountain at one time. In addition it is understood that very few visitor safety rangers are working night shift or on weekends due to budget constraints.
    The website also stated that 16 of those rangers are trained to work with dogs, however as FOTM has reported before, SANParks have no dogs due to the K9 unit becoming aged and sick. FOTM queries on exactly how many visitor safety rangers are on the mountain go largely unanswered and we would welcome SANParks transparently showing the public their exact resource allocations.
    FOTM is represented on Minister Creecy’s Task team for “Safety and the Regulated Environment” and have repeatedly asked for additional security resources to be applied to TMNP. However to date little or nothing has been done, with only promises being made.
    While FOTM commends the brave work done by the fire fighters and also the rangers, SANParks is clearly not doing enough to prevent crime and fires on TMNP. We call on SANParks to take a far more pro-active strategy, instead of the current reactive one and we call on the City of Cape Town to hold SANParks accountable for the effective management of the Table Mountain National Park. If SANParks are unable to fulfil their obligations to manage Table Mountain National Park effectively under the current agreement with the City of Cape Town, then FOTM demand that the City of Cape Town takes back the management of TMNP. Finally, Friends of Table Mountain call on Minister Creecy to visit Cape Town and address the public on how the numerous issues plaguing TMNP will be solved.
    "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

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  2. #122
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

    - Charles Bukowski

  3. #123
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by EttiennedK View Post
    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.
    The area where I live burnt in 2017 it is now one mass of aliens. Locals are trying to clear it to prevent another disaster. Regarding fire spotting there are high tech cameras available that can detect fires over a huge range, used in the plantation industry, with the costs of these fires it should surely be considered?

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  5. #124
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by mudgrubber View Post
    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.
    I've read the book and almost allowed it to turn me into an afro-pessimist as well. I'm not going to get into a Google war with you about the great many well regarded museums and libraries across the continent, it would be pointless and get childish. If you're really interested you have the same resources as I do. And in return I won't Google worldwide losses of priceless antiquities at the hands of non-Africans, because disasters happen, they're learned from and mostly not repeated. It appears that top class measures taken by UCT prevented an even bigger loss, so perhaps that's just a sliver of consolation.

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  7. #125
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishing1 View Post
    The area where I live burnt in 2017 it is now one mass of aliens. Locals are trying to clear it to prevent another disaster.
    Which is why I added "Hopefully Cape Nature keeps their hands on the intruder species".

    Most of the alien/invader species have no natural/biological enemies and if allowed to grow unchecked, will spread like wildfire. (Pardon the pun)
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  8. #126
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
    CoCT /Sanparks are bound to begin thinning and clearing the alien forests now on the slopes.
    There is a huge problem in that sentence because most of the fire was on SanParks land and SanParks is National Government (ANC) and the Government is broke AND this is the Western Cape, the last non ANC bastion in SA, so we can forget about any help from SanParks or Government.

    CoCT derives NO income from that ground as all revenues go to Pretoria, so there is no obligation for them to pay for SanParks' responsibilities.
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  9. #127
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Am I cynical to hope that the financial loss incurred by the unnamed Newlands Cabinet Minister might be the required cinder to light a fire under getting SanParks back up to speed, OR letting CoCT take over runnng the local scene?....
    Probably not, but on can hope....
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  10. #128
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnoK View Post
    There is a huge problem in that sentence because most of the fire was on SanParks land and SanParks is National Government (ANC) and the Government is broke AND this is the Western Cape, the last non ANC bastion in SA, so we can forget about any help from SanParks or Government.

    CoCT derives NO income from that ground as all revenues go to Pretoria, so there is no obligation for them to pay for SanParks' responsibilities.
    Who cleans up (and pays for) a lot of the resulting sjit after a fire -
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  11. #129
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Normally in the case of a fire the landowner is billed, not sure as to how the arrangement works between COCT / SANParks.

    This raises another issue.

    The fire has occurred just before the onset of winter, typically we get our first heavy rainstorm in May.
    The land is now stripped of vegetation, so nothing to hold the soil together.
    The risk of a mudslide in certain areas is very real, the COCT usually ends up taking mitigating action - at their cost a far as I am aware.
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  12. #130
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyT View Post
    Normally in the case of a fire the landowner is billed, not sure as to how the arrangement works between COCT / SANParks.

    This raises another issue.

    The fire has occurred just before the onset of winter, typically we get our first heavy rainstorm in May.
    The land is now stripped of vegetation, so nothing to hold the soil together.
    The risk of a mudslide in certain areas is very real, the COCT usually ends up taking mitigating action - at their cost a far as I am aware.
    Andy yes. The CoCT has a really big role to pay - once the fire is put out - the rest of the work starts.
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  13. #131
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois Theron View Post
    .... 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.
    Lots of strategically placed webcams made publicly viewable, we could even help watch for fire in Belgium. Cell phone masts are good places to put them, power and network connectivity already in place. Voda and MTN can sponsor them.

    Swambo and I have been following this fire closely, we used to live in Vredehoek.
    Last edited by Naes-Landy; 2021/04/22 at 10:09 AM.
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  15. #132
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by EHoffmann View Post
    Who cleans up (and pays for) a lot of the resulting sjit after a fire -
    Good question. Apparently Egypt want Evergreen to pay for the Suez blockage. Maybe the vagrant who started the fire should pay for the damage....point is, what if the person/entity who was responsible simply cannot/does not pay up?
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  17. #133
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    The house that burnt, next to Mostert's Mill, houses either the minister or deputy minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.

    Bit of irony if there ever was any.
    Last edited by ZuluCowboy; 2021/04/22 at 01:18 PM.
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  19. #134
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnoK View Post
    Am I cynical to hope that the financial loss incurred by PATRICIA DE LILLE, Newlands Cabinet Minister, might be the required cinder to light a fire under getting SanParks back up to speed, OR letting CoCT take over running the local scene?....
    Probably not, but on can hope....
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  20. #135
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Safari View Post
    Phixed at no charge
    Actually, it was the residence of Thulas Nxesi, Labour Minister. De Lille is public works minister, the department that owns the building.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2021/04/22 at 04:12 PM.
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  22. #136
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by EHoffmann View Post
    Who cleans up (and pays for) a lot of the resulting sjit after a fire -
    We pay for CoCT civil structures cleanup/repair via our taxes/rates- directly or indirectly -perhaps CoCT insure against this?

    -Public Works , I understand, 'self-insure' all national public structures -not sure if they are their (read 'our') own underwriters?
    Last edited by Patrick L; 2021/04/22 at 04:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Some footage from students on the day of the fire -will open some eyes to the actual scene and conditions

    Looks like they tried to do what they could -probably saved some bits at least.


    https://www.capetownetc.com/news/wat...he-evacuation/

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  24. #138
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    There's an insert on Carte Blanche tonight on the fire (full disclosure: my wife is the producer of the insert). Volunteers are up at UCT today helping salvage what they can from the library.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2021/04/25 at 11:14 AM.
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  26. #139
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
    Some footage from students on the day of the fire -will open some eyes to the actual scene and conditions

    Looks like they tried to do what they could -probably saved some bits at least.


    https://www.capetownetc.com/news/wat...he-evacuation/


    At the around the 40s time slot of the YouTube video one can see why some buildings took fire - lots of dried leaves on window sills and in rain gutters.

    I read one ex-fireman's comment (now residing in Australia) on FaceBook where he mentioned that is pretty much the same reason why fire spread quickly across buildings/houses in Australia due to this. He mentioned they will send out radio/TV alerts - in case of wild fires near resident neighbourhoods - to inform residents to put tennisballs in the gutters or drain pipes, and then fill these gutters up with water. Prevents any burn embers and such from falling from air onto gutters and igniting them. He also mentioned these palm trees is one of the biggest dangers to fire.
    Last edited by GroenHoender; 2021/04/25 at 06:07 PM.

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  28. #140
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    Default Re: Huge fire on Table Mountain

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