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Monday, June 05, 2006

Winter, and Africa burns

Pictures downloaded from Google.com without permission...... Hope the owners don't mind.

Veld fire - Too close to home for these home owners!
The destructive annual veld fires
Miles and miles across. Destroying everything in its way.
Forests are destroyed. Fire fighters risk all to try and put the fires out.

It's fire season in Africa. Winter, The veld is dry, and they burn it. I am still amazed at this annual feature of African custom. Every year, as soon as the veld dries, they burn it. I was standing out on my deck, watching as the veld across the valley burns. 500 Meter front of fire, moving along steadily, destroying the vegetation, and any living thing in its way. The locals walk through these velds, and drop lit matches as they go. Everywhere, every year. I wonder why?
Smoke filled skies, even the distant mountains are just a grey smudge across the horison. I once flew in from the coast on a night flight, and the view from the plane was frightening. Miles and miles of burning veld, as far as the eye can see. Moving like molten lava, fanned along by the wind. Jumping across 9 - 12 meter wide tarred roads, starting secondary fires on adjoining lands.
It's senseless. It's destructive. It's stupid and dangerous.


1 comment:

Steven Douglas said...

It's amazing...what used to be a natural annoyance (and required by some plants and grasses for their seeds to germinate), has now turned into a national pasttime and sport for fuckwits.

Those that light the fires don't care, as they probably don't live in the area and couldn't care about the destruction they cause.

It just goes along with the rest of the lawlessness in the country as it's actually a criminal offence (mind you, only if you're caught and prosecuted) to wilfully start a veld fire...