I am too scared to look out my window this morning, even though the fire is still very far from our home – it is still too close for comfort. Everything smells like smoke and ash… Mikayla can’t go to school today due to the heavy amount of smoke in the air in the area (she suffers from Asthma and so do I), and to be honest – being as overprotective as I am that works for me. I would rather have her close and keep her as far away from the fire as possible.
It hurts to watch. Last night, as we were all standing staring up at the flames we cried together. I can’t help the tears, I cry for the forest I take my daughter to every Sunday and where she just had the most amazing birthday party, I cry for our favourite spot in Silvermine, I cry for my friends homes that are in serious danger and those who do not know whether they have homes to return to, I cry for the animals that could not escape and those with nowhere to go, I cry for the horse ranches where I wanted to take my daughter for lessons next semester, I cry for the families of the brave men fighting these monstrous flames in severe weather conditions, I cry for the farms that are being burnt to the ground, I cry for our beautiful city. One thing that brings tears of joy to my eyes, however, is how our community has pulled together – opening their hearts, homes and wallets to help in whatever way possible. We are all standing together as one, it is beautiful and comforting..
We went to Camps Bay to go say goodbye to family members at the end of their holiday. It was unbelievable driving through town and sitting on the balcony of their flat in Bakoven that there is no evidence of the devastation happening on the other side of the mountain… not even a puff of smoke. It is like it never happened. I caught myself thinking that maybe it wasn’t that bad, maybe it was a dream… until we drove back in the dead of the night and the fire has spread so much further than when we left. The sky is lit up in orange, people are panicking… it is out of control.
Besides the obvious, the most heartbreaking is the hateful comments I’ve been reading willing the fires to keep burning and turning it into a political agenda fueled by racism. So much anger in this country… I know this will probably not make a difference, but please keep in mind that lives are in danger, that nature is suffering and that people from all walks of life are being affected. Don’t be an asshole, if you are making these kind of comments – you do not belong in this country. Please have some respect.
As a non-profit volunteer organisation the 150+ firefighters and support crew of the Volunteer Wildfire Services need to rely on their own initiative, as well as the public’s generosity, to raise funding to continue their operations.
How you can help:
Drop off food and energy drinks at one of these fire stations: Newlands Fire Base; Lakeside Fire Station; Fish Hoek Fire Station; Hout Bay NSRI; Hout Bay Watchcon Offices and Noordhoek Farm Stall. Please remember that we have Muslim firefighters as well who are in need of Halaal food. Please coordinate with Control Room at 021 689 7438 to determine needs before delivering. PLEASE NOTE – at this moment they are all sorted for food donations, the are however in dire need of cash donations for much needed operational costs, such as fuel, vehicles, uniforms, firefighting equipment – please consider making a once-off donation or setting up a monthly pledge (no amount is too small). —> http://www.vws.org.za/?page_id=338
Donate items like rehydrate sachets, eye drops, sunblock, reals of small packets of peanuts (small items to put in packs) and batteries.
They need cash donations for fuel and equipment – Bank Deposits or EFT Payments can be made to:
Volunteer Wildfire Services
Branch Code: 108309
Account Number: 1083321226
If you make a donation, please use your name as a unique reference as well as sending us an email so we can thank you for your valued contribution. (It also helps us keep track of incoming funding for the auditors).
For general enquiries regarding donations, please contact Hayley Hagen at firstname.lastname@example.org All donations gratefully distributed across our #Newlands , #Jonkershoek and #SouthPeninsula stations.
Lauren Pretorius, an amazing local photographer who’s husband is a volunteer firefighter is also doing her part by auctioning off a family photoshoot – please click here to place a bid. ALL of the proceeds going towards the Volunteer Wildfire Services.
What you need to know:
Please be aware if residing in the affected areas (Noordhoek, Fish Hoek, Muizenberg, Lakeside, Steenberg, Tokai, Constantia Nek) that snakes flee oncoming fires. Please avoid handling snakes on your own, rather contact your local emergency services.
Justin Tracey – 074 6435499, Stephen Moll 071 970 3867 and Vard (constantia area) 082 539 4452. All are part of a reputable organisation and registered.
If you spot any hurt or misplaced animals, please contact the SPCA Grassy Park Inspectorate on 021 700 4159/8
False Bay Veterinary Clinic – 69 Main Road, Muizenberg will be clearing their schedules today to help treat any injured wildlife found in the aftermath of the fire. They will also be assisting the SPCA with a search and rescue operation once affected areas have been secured. If you find any wildlife requiring assistance, please call them on 021-788 1172.
Tears Animal Rescue and Deep South Animal Educare are on standby with a Vet. Contact: Luke Kruyt – 071 864 4849 / Jaque Le Roux – 071 351 9914
Public Precautionary Measures: Wet your garden and thatch roof and Keep all windows closed (if you are near the fire).
Uber is running a FREE service whereby they are collecting supplies directly through the Uber app. The UberAssist option in the app will allow registered users to hail a cab to pick up and deliver supplies and donations to Cape fire fighters.
While the fire is still burning, the City requests that residents in the South Peninsula (who are not impacted by the approaching fires) keep their water consumption to a minimum (i.e. by using water for essential needs only) to allow the reservoirs serving these areas to maintain manageable operating levels. This will ensure the effective supply of water to emergency services teams.