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Reasons for fires

The territory now occupied by the Overstrand Municipality, including Hermanus, has experienced fire for millions of years.

In the 21st century two different sources of fire have become usual. The police have opened many dockets regarding fires that are started intentionally. However, I am not aware of anyone being tried or convicted. The dominant view seems to be that “boys” start the fires. In some cases, it is alleged they simply want to watch the helicopter drop water on the blaze. None of this can be authenticated.

In the 21st century two different sources of fire have become usual. The police have opened many dockets regarding fires that are started intentionally. However, I am not aware of anyone being tried or convicted. The dominant view seems to be that “boys” start the fires. In some cases, it is alleged they simply want to watch the helicopter drop water on the blaze. None of this can be authenticated.

Then there is another sort of fire altogether, one which indicates as much threat to residents as any bush fire. These are the burning tyres that have become a feature of every protest march in Hermanus. At present, the only damage is to the road surface. But “tyre fires” do act as a warning that everything is not well in the town, and there is an ever present danger of conflict arising from financial and social inequality.

In the final part, Dr Robin Lee looks at some of Hermanus’ most prominent fires.

In the final part, Dr Robin Lee looks at some of Hermanus’ most prominent fires.

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