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Jonkershoek fire 2021


Zawillow
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Fires are devastating. This could just further destroy some people after a super tough year. How incredibly sad.

 

On a biking side, as Jonkers Valley has burned, then MTO will pull out, which means that Spez and the public will be left to fund the rebuild without the hundreds of thousands of zar MTO sink annually.

 

We might be without one of our trail meccas for a helluva long time and maybe never quite as it has been in recent times

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Fires are devastating. This could just further destroy some people after a super tough year. How incredibly sad.

 

On a biking side, as Jonkers Valley has burned, then MTO will pull out, which means that Spez and the public will be left to fund the rebuild without the hundreds of thousands of zar MTO sink annually.

 

We might be without one of our trail meccas for a helluva long time and maybe never quite as it has been in recent times

Why would MTO pull out?

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Certainly not nice.

Smoke has been hectic but seems to be getting less. Let's hope that means that the fire is also been brought under control.

 

Let's hope the trails have not be damaged to badly.

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Excuse my ignorance, but how do fires damage trails? I'm not saying it doesn't happen... I completely accept that it does, I just don't understand HOW it happens. 

 

Is it because the vegetation that holds the soil together is essentially killed, and so the trail can't hold together? Or is it falling trees that stuff the trail up? Or is it the actual heat of the fire that changes the properties of the soil (shear strength, etc). I'm just trying to get my head around how compacted mud and earth is damaged by fire. Genuine question. 

 

On the plus side, I live at the base of stellenbosch mountain and there does seem to be a bit more blue sky and fewer helicopters in the last few hours. Hopefully its coming right. 

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Excuse my ignorance, but how do fires damage trails? I'm not saying it doesn't happen... I completely accept that it does, I just don't understand HOW it happens. 

 

Is it because the vegetation that holds the soil together is essentially killed, and so the trail can't hold together? Or is it falling trees that stuff the trail up? Or is it the actual heat of the fire that changes the properties of the soil (shear strength, etc). I'm just trying to get my head around how compacted mud and earth is damaged by fire. Genuine question. 

 

On the plus side, I live at the base of stellenbosch mountain and there does seem to be a bit more blue sky and fewer helicopters in the last few hours. Hopefully its coming right. 

Basically the fire bakes the soil, breaks down its physical structure, burns out all the organic matter and greatly reduces it's ability to retain water, almost making it hydrophobic (water repellant), the soil turns to dust, this was evident in the last major fire in Tokai....also the underground roots that you don't see that may be under the trail's get burnt and you get cave ins....fire is really destructive in a lot of ways but as we all know, it plays a big part in the regeneration of seed banks especially fynbos.

Edited by capediver
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Why would MTO pull out?

MTO said that the next time fires burned down their business in the valley they will pull out of building/maintaining trails and potentially out of the valley itself.

 

To answer your question, because they said they would.

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Excuse my ignorance, but how do fires damage trails? I'm not saying it doesn't happen... I completely accept that it does, I just don't understand HOW it happens. 

 

Is it because the vegetation that holds the soil together is essentially killed, and so the trail can't hold together? Or is it falling trees that stuff the trail up? Or is it the actual heat of the fire that changes the properties of the soil (shear strength, etc). I'm just trying to get my head around how compacted mud and earth is damaged by fire. Genuine question. 

 

On the plus side, I live at the base of stellenbosch mountain and there does seem to be a bit more blue sky and fewer helicopters in the last few hours. Hopefully its coming right. 

 

 

All of the above

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MTO said that the next time fires burned down their business in the valley they will pull out of building/maintaining trails and potentially out of the valley itself.

 

To answer your question, because they said they would.

I was not aware.If they stay in the valley, one presumes that it is still open for discussion.

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Excuse my ignorance, but how do fires damage trails? I'm not saying it doesn't happen... I completely accept that it does, I just don't understand HOW it happens. 

 

Is it because the vegetation that holds the soil together is essentially killed, and so the trail can't hold together? Or is it falling trees that stuff the trail up? Or is it the actual heat of the fire that changes the properties of the soil (shear strength, etc). I'm just trying to get my head around how compacted mud and earth is damaged by fire. Genuine question. 

 

On the plus side, I live at the base of stellenbosch mountain and there does seem to be a bit more blue sky and fewer helicopters in the last few hours. Hopefully its coming right. 

 

Nick, jip "all of the above", as confirmed by others.

 

 

Then there is also the coming winter rain ....  If we are VERY lucky we have two or three light drizzles, to get some plant growth going .... realistically, by the time the first proper storms come there is nothing to stop erosion ....

 

 

 

That said, let's not forget the hectic fires that destroyed the Hermanus trails.  A year later some areas were still "weird" with new plant growth at low level while surrounded by dead trees standing tall ....  drove past there a few weeks ago, little sign left of the fire.

 

 

It IS very sad !  It will take a huge amount of labour to get the trails sorted, both now and after the winter rains.  And yet this may just create the opportunity to create some new lines ....

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I rode Jonkershoek last weekend with friends and a freshly bought annual pass eish. Both glad I got that ride in but also concerned about the future of the trails :/

 

If anyone is interested, below is a graph of atmospheric particulate over the last ~3 days. Data collected from an accurate homebrew laser sensor. Commissioned only a few days before. I'm based in Durbanville. The particulate is currently continuing to climb, again:

post-128151-0-36122200-1614502744_thumb.png

You can see that up until the fire started the air quality was extremely good at around 0 ug/m3 for PM2.5. The US EPA considers anything above 55.5 ug/m3 for PM2.5 to be "unhealthy".

 

and here are two nostalgic photos from my ride a week ago:

post-128151-0-55363000-1614502808_thumb.jpg

post-128151-0-34908400-1614503303_thumb.jpg

Edited by aquaratza
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Can confirm, fire in the peaks and has crossed into the upper mountain peaks of the helderberg valley.

 

There has not been enough time since the last fire and any vegetation burnt will change the area for a very very long time.

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It was rather big fire this time ...  Luckily the wind stopped for a day or two and they managed to keep fire at bay .. we had ash raining down for a few days, but fire got stopped before buring to badly on blaauklippen side (our side). Seems like jonkers took the major brunt of things.

 

Here video of what looking like at moment

 

 

Foto of one evening when it popped over, they stopped it during night/morning.

post-28252-0-15954900-1614576625_thumb.jpg

 

 

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It is still in the upper peaks, but there looks to be a northerly wind up their. Hopefully the cool weather with a slight chance of rain latter might help.

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Such a pity - JH was starting to look so good - fynbos and fresh plantation pines. I haven't ridden there since the DH Nationals in Feb 2020 and will have to wait for a long while more to do so again I suspect...

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