Blow and Glow season 2018

30 Jul 2018 21:53 #73754 by MarkT
Intrepid called the fire break / burning season "blow and glow" and made threads for previous years, here's a start for this year. We were in the Cathedral Peak region and the fires raged... we watched the Camel burn from Roland's Cave after just walking it a few hours before. The area around Twins cave was totally burnt out, and we arrived at the cave to smoke streaming up the gulley from the burning below. It was an interesting experience, on the one hand it felt irresponsible of KZN Wildlife to not warn us that they were going to be burning the very cave we were planning on sleeping in - surely they can mention it when you arrive and sign the overnight register? - on the other hand it created some amazing scenes and the photos we got were epic. Watch out for that smoke inhalation though!

Some pics (this is smoke, not clouds!):



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31 Jul 2018 09:17 - 31 Jul 2018 09:18 #73757 by GriffBaker
Taken on Saturday morning from Rolands.

On Friday night we saw a small flame start on the Camel and then the two torches of the firestarters moving away from the fire.

The area around Twins Cave was being burnt on Friday morning when we arrived at Didima to sign in.

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Last edit: 31 Jul 2018 09:18 by GriffBaker.
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02 Aug 2018 13:45 - 02 Aug 2018 13:46 #73775 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Blow and Glow season 2018
We were in the Giants area this past weekend and also had the same in terms of burnt terrain. The sunset photo looks a lot like pics I took while in Namibia a few years ago. Was beautifull, especially when the full moon came out later.



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Last edit: 02 Aug 2018 13:46 by Riaang.
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02 Aug 2018 15:38 #73776 by Serious tribe
We once did about 4 days on the escarpment during B&G season and everything from the chain ladder to fangs area was a charred black mess.  There was also so little water up there at the time we couldn't even wash our faces and hands properly each day.  I think i was still cleaning ash out of my pores a week later.

Anyone been up Rockeries in the last few days, or is planning on going this weekend, some info on the burning status there would be of use to me.

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31 Jul 2019 10:06 - 31 Jul 2019 10:14 #75195 by Serious tribe
Hi forum

Just wondered if this thread is still ongoing or not enough interest in it?

Most areas have controlled burning of firebreaks but i wonder if there is controlled burning of areas between fire breaks every few years.  Does anyone have any idea about this?  Are there schedules that KZN follow?  What about the Mweni area, does this just get burnt as a matter of course?

It does come up in the recent trips posts sometimes, and I refer to MarkT's recent trip to the Southern Berg.  As I know from experience, it is not fun to hike for days through burnt ash waste and also potentially dangerous when caught in it.  At least if we have prior knowledge of a recently burnt area, we can plan the trip for somewhere else...and hope we aren't in the firing line on that trip.  Mark I see it was actually you who started the thread after you hiked through the Cathedral burn.  Shame, you seem to have had more than your fair share of burnt terrain to hike through :-(
Last edit: 31 Jul 2019 10:14 by Serious tribe.

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31 Jul 2019 12:19 - 31 Jul 2019 12:33 #75196 by JonWells
Replied by JonWells on topic Blow and Glow season 2018
On Friday night we arrived at Cobham where we planned to camp our first night near Emerald Dome.  It was clear that there was a very large fire burning in the area, but we couldnt tell exactly where, so we set off anyway, hoping it might not be where we planned to camp.

As we arrived at our campsite, the orange glow began to get brighter and brighter, and soon we saw the first flames moving over the top of the ridge, moving towards us.

We sat and watched the flames move closer and closer down the hill in the direction of our planned camp.  Although there was a river between us and the fire, we were concerned that if the wind picked up later, there was a risk that embers may be blown across the river, and set our side ablaze, which would seriously ruin our evening.

With it now being 100% certain that the fire would reach the river, we took a decision to begin burning the grass along the riverbanks, while the wind was relatively still.  Luckily the fire that we started behaved as planned and began travelling up the hillside, away from us, leaivng a burned buffer behind it.  In only around 30 minutes, the 2 fires met in the middle, and immediately went out in our area, although it continued raging eastward towards Cobham.

Although we were relieved that the fire was now out in our region, there was still a lot of horrible smoke hanging in the valleys, well into the next morning...

When we returned to the office on Sunday, we did see a sign near the office saying that burning was in progress, although there was no dates, or details given, and there was certainly no one monitoring the fire.  It does seem to be an annual occurrence, as I have often found Cobham completely black around this time of year.

Some pics from Friday night:


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Last edit: 31 Jul 2019 12:33 by JonWells.
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31 Jul 2019 12:26 - 31 Jul 2019 12:27 #75197 by JonWells
Replied by JonWells on topic Blow and Glow season 2018

Serious tribe wrote: At least if we have prior knowledge of a recently burnt area, we can plan the trip for somewhere else.


After seeing MarkT's post, I specifically checked the satellite pics to see if our planned hike would have any burned areas, and it was all looking good.  Oh well! :)
Last edit: 31 Jul 2019 12:27 by JonWells.

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01 Aug 2019 14:34 #75201 by Serious tribe
Pics look scary,  a bit like advancing lines of fiery troops!  Which site are you using to view your satellite images?  I have something called zoomearth, but it is not loading anything beyond 2018!

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04 Aug 2019 11:58 #75204 by Serious tribe
Thanks Jon this is better than the one i was using.  You also have taken the effort to drill down to the correct views with the correct layer, so thanks again.  Vey useful will save it as a favourite.  Wouldn't it be great to have this down to a 1:50k scale.  However i suppose with that degree of accuracy, people with the wrong motives could gain data they shouldn't have access to. :-(

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