Hout Bay fires: ravaged Imizamo Yethu photographed on Instagram, Twitter

hout bay fire devon llywellyn instagram

It seems that Cape Town has been hot, dry, and on fire for much of the summer. The latest blaze however has inconvenienced more than just fynbos. Hout Bay’s Imizamo Yethu was this weekend the scene of a post-apocalyptic movie, as a blaze swept through the township.

The fire, which began on Saturday, has affected more than 15 000 people. According to reports, 3500 homes were destroyed. At least two people have died as a result of the fire.

Another fire began to burn, also in Hout Bay, on Saturday evening, covering much of the Karbonkelberg in flames.

Social media was awash with images of the blazes since Saturday, with professional photographers and citizen journalists covering the progression of the fires.

A fierce fire which gutted over 3000 houses in Imizamo Yethu on Saturday quickly spread over Hout Bay’s mountains

VWS Wildfires, one of the organisations leading the fight on the ground, was also leading the social chatter. The account documented the rapid spread of the fires from this on Saturday morning…

…to this on Sunday.

Cape Town fire photographer Justin Sullivan, posted this Instagram video today, depicting the frantic scenes in Imizamo Yethu on Saturday, as residents attempted to save belongings, help firefighters and flee the inferno.

A number of other snaps on the social network show the mantle-like glow of the fire from both sides of the Karbonkelberg as it burned through the weekend’s early hours.

At the time of writing, the fire “looks better” today, but stiff wind remains problematic.

The hot and windy weather conditions this weekend wasn’t only conducive to the spread of the Hout Bay fire.

The wind in Cape Town on Sunday led to the cancellation of the Cape Town Cycle Tour — an unprecedented move for the world’s largest timed sporting event. The goods that were not used in the race was donated to those affected by the fires, and to the firefighters on the ground.

Although this is Cape Town’s most destructive fire of the summer thus far, the city has had to deal with its fair share of wildfires this season.

Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Signal Hill, Simon’s Town, Devil’s Peak and Betty’s Bay were all the sites of large fires this season, to name but a few.

Feature image: Devon Llywellyn via Instagram

Andy Walker, former editor


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