Pixie help in the wind

I’m been an incredibly blowy day in Cape Town and the Western Cape. Sustained 60kph winds with gusts into the mid-80s. The Fire Danger Index was red for most everywhere, and that forecast has proven to be wholly accurate, with fires… well… most everywhere, as well.

I did see one guy “in the know” describe it as “a shit show”. Who am I to argue?

Of particular personal interest above, that one bottom right, which – although a long way from our little place at the Southern Tip – is threatening to head that way. [UPDATE: I’ve just heard that they’ve got it contained.] And also the big one right in the middle, just north-east of Paarl, which has been burning for 8 days now, right around the area where we stayed just before Christmas, including the Bains Kloof Pass, and has consumed an immense amount of land, and sadly, a good number of buildings.

I was trying to glue some stuff to some other stuff earlier, using volatile glue for gluing purposes, and some meths for cleaning purposes. Obviously, I tried to work outside: a well-ventilated area being important, but being on my own, and having no-one to hold the wood, the wind was actually ventilating too much, and playing havoc with my efforts. And so I had to go inside into my office. This was much better, because not only was everything not being blown around, but I was also suddenly joined by an army of helpful pixies who sang and danced as the work got done.

Wonderful stuff. And I really enjoyed the nap that inevitably followed, even if it was on the floor.

Anyway, the pixies might not have helped the firefighters, but the early arrival of the first rain in over two months might give them a hand. I’m back in my car park for the first time this year, and it’s actually rather wet. Ironically, they’re sprinkling water on the grass on the playing fields opposite me.

What’s coming from the sky is not exactly a deluge, but it’s certainly better than nothing, and it’s very welcome. Everywhere is… was… dirty and dusty. Cape Town needed a wash.

As I write, it’s raining heavily, the wind is still blowing and the sun is setting. Trash chickens being blown around in the bizarre sulphureous light, and… is that… is that another pixie?!?

Fire theories

There have been some wildfires recently. And while arson is likely to be the cause of some of them, could there be something even more sinister behind that arson?

Only yesterday, High Empress of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, sent out this tweet, “just asking” if the recent wildfires could be “accidental or coincidental”.

[EDIT: Actually, this is a SA Weather Service map showing warning for “veld fire conditions” (and “extreme heat”), not actual fires.]

To be honest, we’re all well aware that she has jumped on the conspiracy theory bandwagon and is “#justasking” if the ANC has a deliberate, coordinated arson campaign in full swing in order to “destabilise the [DA-run] Western Cape”. And even then, is that “accidental” or “coincidental”?
In my view, it’s neither. I think that would be “deliberate” and “coordinated”.

The trouble is, even in sharing the image above, Helen has basically answered her own unasked question. The fires are all in red or brown areas – marked as such because they are very dangerous or extreme risk for wildfires. Next to some of the fire icons are thermometer icons. They show that there is a heatwave, adding to the fire risk. And then there’s the green bit towards the south and east of the province. Limited fire risk there. And no fires. And then there are the those three fires icons in the [ANC-run] Northern Cape. Bit of an own goal there, ne?

So wildfires in fire season in high risk wildfire areas, during a heatwave, in the middle of a drought? Yeah. Sounds like an ANC campaign to me. [pops on tinfoil hat]

Cape Town will always suffer from wildfires though, because of the volcanic mountain on our doorstep. I think most people are unaware of this – obviously the city wouldn’t want panic to ensue when the 4.5 million residents realised that they were living right on top of an explodey volcanological time-bomb. So they’ve not mentioned it.

Sadly, thanks to this erstwhile FB user, the cat are now out of the bag.

Yeah. I mean, how unlikely is that cigarette or arson theory when you look at the “Lions Head is a sleeping volcano” reasoning. Of course, Lions Head isn’t a sleeping volcano, it’s sandstone on top of Cape granite (see here), as any meteorologist will tell you (once they’ve… er… stopped foolishly looking at the weather), but don’t let that stand in your way as you crash wildly through the fragile boundaries of reality and into your scary, alternate, “everything is going to repeatedly be set on fire and they’re not telling us why” dimension.

Wait… OMG! Fires on hot days? I hadn’t linked the two. Ever. She might actually be correct. I mean, it never burns in winter, does it? You know: Winter, when the volcanic mountains go cold for several months and there are no wildfires. Checkmate, skeptics!

And just in case you are still a non-believer:

Well, California, South and East Australia, OregonPeru and Canada, just off the top of my head. And, weirdly, all in summer. And double weirdly, all in places where the ANC wasn’t in power. And treble weirdly, all in places where the local authorities haven’t told residents that they’re living on top of a explodey volcanological time-bomb, even when they’re not.

Suddenly. It. All. Fits.

And our Facebooking friend has some advice for those who are commenting on her post:

Yeah. I mean, honestly. If you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to the volcano mountain or the natural annual fires, then just don’t get involved, ok? Just like she didn’t.

Sadly, this being the internet, and her theories being utterly laughable, some people did get involved and the lady making the volcano suggestions was on the receiving end of some not inconsiderable ridicule. And then, this being the internet, someone defended her, and so she said this:

Yeah, immatured people. Please actually think logically when you’re participating in matured conversations like ones about volcanoes which aren’t volcanoes lighting fires on extremely unbearably hot days.

Honestly. It’s not hard.