Fire in Helderberg Basin – January 2017

A while back Ethan and I took a drive up through Sir Lowry’s Pass Village as a driving lesson.  I thought a farm road would be fun so we took the dirt road along the railway track over the pass.  It is a pretty route, through farmland.  We used to cycle the route together as a family.  Ethan drove over a rock in the road.  There was a loud “Klonk” and a smell of petrol.  I looked under the car and saw the fuel filter was damaged.  So we headed home. 

As we got home I noticed a column of smoke rising in Sir Lowry’s Pass.  By the time I had removed the filter there was a fire blazing in the pass.  When I returned from buying a new filter the basin was full of smoke and the first helicopter was working the blaze. 

Choppers flying over our house with water for the fire

This fire raged for days, eventually reaching the edge of town where helicopters and trucks fought to minimise the damage.  Outlying farms were gutted.  A friend of ours refused to leave his farm and managed to beat back the encroaching flames. 

A week later I took a drive up to where Ethan and I had been.  The fire had obviously swept through here. 

I painted two watercolours as I chatted with the firemen on duty. 

Suikerbossies after the fire in Helderberg Dog Park
Watercolour on 300gm Arches Hot Pressed
For sale in my gallery

As I sat there I had a sobering thought.  If we had not turned back when we did, Ethan and I would have been way up a dirt road in the middle of a conflagration.  God catches our attention in ways we don’t always understand at the time.  Sometimes never I guess.  But that is my story of the fire.

The blackened proteas after the fire
Watercolour on 300gm Arches Hot Pressed 250 x 350 mm
For sale on my gallery

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