Smoke gets in your eyes

The fire is advancing toward our Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. Coming to our rescue, there’s a helicopter (centre pic) and Thor, who is the lean and hungry Great Dane in the foreground.

Just in case you thought I was kidding about the fire, it has worked though the bush and fynbos (proteas and other indigenous flora) on the Groenberg (green mountain) and is in a small river valley within a couple of hundred metres of Stormhoek’s premier Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. It is about 400 metres from our house and advancing slowly. There has been no strong wind.

The whole Groenberg has been burnt and tomorrow it will be easy to see that it is a black mountain and will need a new name.
It sounds just like Vietnam in the middle of a pitched battle here. (That shows how old I am, maybe it sounds more like Iraq).

There is a small plane circling above our house and vineyards and our neighbour’s farm. This guy is directing what seems like half a dozen helicopters that are bringing big buckets of water and foam to drop on the biggest flames. There is not a moment when you can’t hear two or more of the helicopters above or nearby and when there’s a lull, the little plane’s whine cuts through.

We won’t get much sleep tonight but we won’t be bored.

helicopter 13 12 05 001.jpg

Is there an aeronautical geek out there who can tell me the make and model of this chopper?


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