Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Parts Of Our Beautiful Country Up In Flames

Looking at pictures or watching from a distance, a very far distance, fire is beautiful. The way everything is lit up bright orange and luminescent. Even more beautiful when the photos are taken at night, going from pale yellow to almost bright red with a pitch black background. Beneath that beauty lies devastation, destruction and danger. Fire is pure evil and our beautiful Cape Town is being engulfed in flames. I absolutely hate fire, I fear it and I am gutted by what is happening in the Cape.

Photo Credit @UlrichJvV - Click For Image Source

The Cape has been engulfed in fires since Sunday and it is just getting worse and worse. Yesterday was the hottest day recorded in the Cape in 100 years and added to that is this fire engulfing the Tokai Forrest; Wine Estates; Homes. Watch the EWN news Video over here.  I read through my Twitter Timeline this morning and when I read the Tweets from someone I have never heard of until this morning, @dieteticscathD I just wanted to sob at the sheer desperation and fear in her tweets and so many others as Klein Constantia a Wine Farm in the Cape was engulfed in flames. It just brought home the reality of the past three days of a fire that I have been reading about and hearing about on the news.

The area engulfed in flames was 3000 hectares, I am sure that size has increased dramatically. The picture below is also from @UlrichJvV showing the size of the #CapeFires in comparison to other major cities like Sydney London and Paris.

Image Source @UlrichJvV

To see more news on the Cape Fires follow the following hashtags if you are on Twitter #MuizenbergFire #CapeFires #Tokai @CapeTown #KleinConstania @EWNReporter or if you are not on Twitter follow EWN News. It is heartening to see how a community has pulled together and some places reporting that they are over flowing with food and drinks and other supplies.

I know there are disasters and tragedies everyday both here and all over the world and we as humans cannot take in all these tragedies and make them our own. We would never be able to survive emotionally if we took on all the tragedies in the world, but this is my tragedy. Not mine in that I am involved or have anyone close to me involved in the tragedy, but it is mine in that I am gutted and am crying for complete strangers, I am crying for a beautiful place, for lands and homes I have never seen or been apart of, I am feeling it as if it is my own.

Fire or the fear of fire is one of my irrational fears and stresses. I will smell smoke and think the house is on fire. I will drive home and see smoke in the very far distance and think our house is on fire. This is what my therapist meant when she said I worry and stress more than the average person. I have no reason to fear fire or fear my house burning down. In Winter when we light a fire in the fireplace I stress and worry that the house will burn down after we have gone to bed and the fire is out. I think it may be a kind of OCD, but it is also a reality - it can happen. I often get up at night to check that I have switched off the oven in case I didn't and the house burns down and I check the oven before going to bed and I cook long before we go to bed. I will go to bed without checking that the doors are locked, but will get up to check the oven.

This irrational fear may be why I am struggling with this disaster and other people who live outside the Cape are just getting on with it and our news bulletins are not even that full of reports. To everyone up here it is just news for me it is more, like I am there and involved. Through blogging, I do know people who live in the Cape and work right by these fires, so that could also be why I am so involved. I received an email yesterday from one lady who doesn't blog anymore and she was fine, I only managed to read and reply to her email late last night and I am hoping she is OK today - if you are reading this Caz hope you are all OK.

Image Source @ewnreporter

To everyone in the Cape, both complete strangers and those of you who I know through Social Media and blogging I hope you and your family, friends and animals are all OK, sending you lots of strength to get through this devastating time.

If you would also like to donate to Volunteer Wildfire Services @vwsfires here are their banking details. They are a NOT FOR PROFIT fully volunteer company and these firefighters and everyone involved in the fight to end these flames need to be applauded - they are way beyond heroes and amazing.

Volunteer Wildfire Services
Branch: Foreshore Code: 108309
Acc No: 1083321226

Then there are also the Animal Rescue services, Wildlife Rescue Services and Local Cape SPCA's working around the clock to rescue animals, I don't have banking details for them, but would love to make a donation to the animals as well - if anyone has their details. So many animals are going to be homeless after these fires, because their owners will have lost their homes and maybe even their jobs as the wine farms have burnt down.

It is a very very sad and tragic day in the Cape

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