Insight

The ring of fire

The sight of fire raging out of control stokes primal fears about community, home and safety — and should spark conversations about what will be an ever more common danger in all our lives, writes Jonathan Ancer

25 April 2021 - 00:00 By Jonathan Ancer

Last Sunday morning at 8am I joined a dozen cyclists at the Rhodes Memorial cattle grid to escort Jean du Plessis on his 200th ride to the Blockhouse since October 1 last year. Jean has been cycling up the slopes of Table Mountain in a gesture of what he calls "slow burn" solidarity with women who have been abused. We reached the Blockhouse an hour later and were joined by hikers, runners and Pilot the Great Dane to mark a remarkable double century of Blockhousing. Jean looked exhausted - determined, but exhausted - and I wondered how many more Blockhouse trips he would be able to endure.

We hadn't seen any flames on our journey up the mountain, but 15 minutes after we arrived at the Blockhouse I saw wisps of smoke in the veld below. We made our way to the bottom and as we climbed up a short hill, I looked to my right and saw some flames...

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