Sleep is a cat with claws hanging onto being awake. The constant smoke in my nose makes me think there’s a fire nearby so I’m looking out the window of my refuge again. From this nearby hill, I can’t see our large estuary. It would be a fantasy movie if it weren’t for the smell. This is what it’s like when indifferent gods use our town as a braai.
KNYSNA FIRE UPDATE
A nearby security alarm cut 3am apart. Knife for company, I went to check on the cottage where the people who’ve given me haven were sleeping. No one there. Allsound pulled up a minute later, at the gate next door. “I’ve got a knife, don’t shoot,” will hopefully not be my best joke of the day. I climbed through the burnt fence and joined him for a perimeter search that thankfully yielded nothing.
Got a call at 6am from people in Blaricum Heights near Simola. They said they can see 5 sets of fire down below in Knysna. Fire surging near their home again, can they catch some sleep by me. Sure. When I saw them, they said they’d first gone to Thesen Island where, at 5am, a fire could be seen atop Brenton again.
Still dark at 7am when someone from East London phones to ask me where to take donations. Another call 8 minutes later with a man telling me that they’ve sent a truck from George but it’s still far away, having to stop because they fear the wind will knock them over. We discuss the road to Knysna being cut off again. He says that he’s worried cause there’s a fire 250m from his friend’s house in George, 60km away from Knysna. I find out that the road’s closed because Buffalo Bay is in trouble and being evacuated again.
That wind is obviously on the way to us. The first helicopter was heard at 7.35am. They’ve got a lot to do whilst they can still fly. 26-knot challenge now but scary 50 know gusts expected within an hour.
There’s was WhatsAp call for volunteers to offload 24 tons of donations in Clyde Street in town central. My asthma sucking so all I do is post the plea on Facebook. They’ll likely still be needing help as you read this but nothing is certain as our cell and internet networks are carrying too much weight.
I checked for another mate at his Mario’s hangout on the Waterfront. Owner said he’d tried to get hold of him but failed. My call is successful. He says that he was evacuated for a third time from his home. He doesn’t know how it’s still standing cause the fire came around the hill the last time, from the Main Road side behind KFC. That’s right in town! But his house miraculously standing.
Homtini Pass on fire. If that goes, Rheenendal says bye-bye. People I know are on their way there to help fight, taking fruit for firemen.
That’s my Great Knysna Fire update.
I don’t know how yet (no wheels) but I will try to get around Knysna today to find out more.
For the moment, Mario’s offering me cleaner air… and connects me to the internet… which is how I got to you.
We are wonderfully discovering that we’re stronger than we ever thought we were.