Fire and Fynbos
Those of you who know a bit about Fynbos, the plant kingdom found on top of Table Mountain will know that fire is a natural part of the ecosystem. Without fire many of the plant species would fail to regenerate. This of course creates a bit of a problem with the city being slap bang in the middle of the plant kingdom.
So throughout the summer when the Southeaster is howling, you will see a sign indicating the severity of fire risk each day. On days when there is a severe risk, braais (barbeque) in public braai areas close to the mountain are banned. Still fires do happen so we have a team of fire fighters and a fleet of helecopters to fight the fires. The other day on Table Mountain I was able to see one of the helecopters practicing picking up and dropping water from the Woodhead reservoir.
Here are some pictures:
The peace and quiet of the mountain was pretty much shattered while he was around. He only did 3 turns though before disappearing and the skill of the pilot was amazing to watch. In order to fill the bucket they seemed to be only a few metres above the water and he then had to fly in a pretty tight circle to avoid the various peaks. Was great to see.