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New Book Puts 2015 Muizenberg Fire in Context

Graphic rich and educative, The Cape Aflame – Cape Town’s Dance with Fire is the book of choice for Christmas, the 2015/16 Fire Season and Cape-based public-benefit organisations.

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During the furnace heat of early March, the Muizenberg Fire ripped our iconic Cape Peninsula in two, uniting Capetonians as never before. Sweeping from coast to coast, the largest single wildfire in Table Mountain National Park’s history razed 5 120 hectares of fynbos, four homes and a luxury resort.

Residents feared its vindictive ferocity. Ecologists welcomed its life-giving, rejuvenating power. Both sought to protect their interests.

Threatening the city’s marginal Wildland Urban Interface – breached when Tokai Plantation exploded into a full-fledged firestorm, the runaway blaze was met by overwhelming force and an integrated fire-management system born of international experience and centuries of dancing around wildfire management.

Under a rage-red, smoke-filled sky, accompanied by the unmistakeable clatter of dozens of fire-fighting helicopters, bombers and spotter aircraft, 2 000 wildland and urban firefighters from across the country worked tirelessly and with choreographed precision to avert disaster.

Committed to their mountain and city, Capetonians rallied behind their firefighters. Generosity and goodwill abounded. Nevertheless, after a week of potential cataclysm, the Mother City felt mugged by Mother Nature.

The Cape Aflame – Cape Town’s Dance with Fire, a graphic 176-page, hardcover, large-format book selling for R375 (including VAT), eases the sense of despoliation brought on by those fire-filled days of March.

Written by Capetonians for Capetonians to benefit public-service organisations, it has presold an astonishing 850 copies a full month before publication, set for late November – barely a month before Christmas. Using more than 200 stunning photographs, 30 0000 words and a detailed fire-progression map (see Google Maps for a partial rendering), it sets wildfire in the context of history and our fynbos biome’s needs.

Going beyond the fireline to educate us in preserving our biodiversity while accommodating a vital natural force, it crackles and sparks with the spectacular intensity befitting an arresting, well-researched and definitive record of the 2015 Muizenberg Fire.

Every picture tells a story. Know the story. Keep The Cape Aflame.

Beneficiary organisations:

Cape of Good Hope SPCA Horse Care and Wildlife Units
Cape Peninsula Fire Protection Association
SANParks Honorary Rangers (Table Mountain Region)
Volunteer Wildfire Services

Prepublication Price Special (R375 inc VAT) ends 30 November – Publication first week of December

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