Jump to content

Fires in Mpumalanga

M@X Meerkat
Followers 0

Recommended Posts

The Meerkats were thinking of heading to Sabie for the "long weekend" to have a relaxing weekend :laughing: but I just heard that the area has been declared a disaster zone due to the fires :laughing: . Can any of the local cachers down there let me know what the damage is like and whether it is worth going through there right now?

Link to comment

We were in the mountains above Pilgrims at the time, and got back home today. The fires missed us (just), but on Saturday we had smoke that you couldn't see 100m. The devastation is horrendous!!! We travelled through Pilgrims and Sabie today, and we've uploaded some photos onto this cache.


Meerkats, in answer to your question - yes. Vast areas have burnt, but a lot has not, and it'll be a big reality-check for you to actually see the power of fire shortly after the event. Nature has amazing regenerative powers - amidst all the devastation and still smoking remnants, we saw a totally unscathed duiker run across the road. Our cache "The Big Fire", on which we uploaded the photos, was hidden to remind us of the terrible fire 3 years ago - this one is much worse. Everything has burnt in that area, including most of the new trees which were planted after that fire, except a small stand of trees, 2 or 3 hectares, directly in front of the cache.


Our hearts and condolences go out to the families of the victims, who number about 15 so far, mainly firefighters, who lost their lives trying to protect others. Also to the smaller property owners who have suffered debilitating losses - like a small timber farmer near Witklip Dam who, a week ago, agreed to the placement of a cache on his property. He has lost everything except his house.

Link to comment

The Meerkats were thinking of heading to Sabie for the "long weekend" to have a relaxing weekend :) but I just heard that the area has been declared a disaster zone due to the fires :P . Can any of the local cachers down there let me know what the damage is like and whether it is worth going through there right now?

Link to comment

Hi Meerkatte, alles daar is verbrand!

Daar sal niks skerpioene, krieke, akedisse of geitjies wees om uit te grawe nie. :)


So ons stel voor dat jul meer suid kom, hier waar die snoek loop, die patat lekker soet is, die vars gebakte brood en korrelkonfyt reg staan.... :P en fantastiese cache's versteek is! :)


Ernstig; ons is jammer om op die nuus te sien hoe dit daar lyk! Sterkte met jul reis! Geniet dit wat jul ook al besluit!





Link to comment

Hi all,


What a terrible experience! As Fish Eagle said it is worse than three years ago and we thought that was bad. The male part of Guineafowl is a forester and he recons he has not seen something like this before. He's been at the fires since last Friday (with a few hours sleep every now and then) and was there until last night half past ten, when they got the last big fire under control.


Meerkats you must actually come down to the area now it is something to see. The smoke is also starting to clear now, and we can start to breath properly.


This is aslo one of the main reasons why we (as geocachers) are not allowed on the roads in the forests. Therefor I ask once again for geocachers please not to hide caches on the plantations - unless off course you have permission from the land owner.


I would also like to thank all the concerned geocachers who phoned / sms me to hear of our place is still OK at Mac Mac - we were lucky fires were near but not close! London and In-de-diepte is also still fine.


I think we should have a big maintenance day soon, because many of the cache sites were affected. ^_^

Link to comment

We had just as terrible fires around Newcastle area but non of the cache sites have damage. It is shocking the detestation it has done. Where there was once veld has turned into open stretches of sand. Here and there there are small tufts of burnt grass. It is odd to see just sand for kilometers on end. Fortunately no-one was killed by the fire but many farmers have lost almost everything. It was scary as I cold not see the houses nearby as the smoke was so thick in town. I can just imagine what the farmers were going through.

Link to comment

As Guineafowl said, on Saturday we spent the day checking on caches in the Sabie/Graskop/Lydenburg area after the terrible fires a week ago. We checked all caches along the route we took - a total of 35 caches, and only found 2 destroyed, and 2 with damaged containers. Of our own caches, we only lost one, and that wasn't even fire damage - the location was bulldozed before the fire. This is a miracle - vast areas have burnt with great intensity, but many caches had miraculous escapes. There are several where the fire stopped within 50m of the cache??!!! Vulcan, the Roman god of destructive fire must be a geocacher!!!


We had a secondary, ulterior motive - we've got TB's and geocoins coming out of our ears, so it gave us the opportunity to drop many off, and move some travellers that have been stuck for a while. We cleaned out Guineafowl's TB "hotel" at "Where is Jock", dropped some cool coins including a new Erik88L-R coin, and took the 4 Diabetes bugs that she's been hoping someone will eventually move on. But ha-ha, we dropped off another 4 Diabetes bugs just to keep the cache nice and full!!


We drove past Berlin Falls for about the 100th time since we started geocaching, and couldn't resist the temptation - we hid a cache. We've left this very obvious cache location open for almost 2 years - sorry locals, you snooze, you lose - now it's too late!! Hope you enjoy the cache.

Link to comment

I think I speak for all of us who have caches down in the lowveld, Thank You Fish Eagle for dropping by our caches to check on them. To those who lost family members in the fires, the Meerkats would like to send our condolences.


Update: The Meerkats can unfortunately not make it this coming weekend. But Alpha Male and mom will be coming down in the begining of September and Alpha Male and Alpha Female will be in the Sudwala region in November.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Followers 0
  • Create New...