About 3am New Year's Day, a man in a town some 50km away shot a flare from his back garden in lieu of a firework. The fire drifted towards the mountain, landed in the dry summer grass, and started a fire that's still burning today and has traveled to a point on the mountain about 3km away from our town. Along the way, it's burned through a national botanical reserve.

We went for a walk this evening, and drove past the beach at sunset, with the smoke blowing in front of the sun.

We live on the flat ground on the left just in front of that mountain where the smoke is coming from. It's dark now and I can see the faint orange glow from the top of the mountain.

A jackal buzzard flying around in front of the smoky sunset.

Almost full sunset. There's the smoke drifting in front of the sun that kinda stops half way through the sun's sphere, and then just below there's a big thick bank of white cloud that's farther back and bouncing the sunlight upwards a bit.

@WelshPixie I was like wow, thats a nice picture, then read the text and what a waste.

@kyzh Yeah. :( He had his first court appearance yesterday and they deferred to next Monday for him to post bail or something. But he's being charged with contravening the nature conservation act, which is a worse charge than arson.

@WelshPixie in a way the sad truth is that even if gets sentenced, it is not going to replace that wildlife :/

@kyzh Aye. The reserve it burned through is a full of fynbos - a kind of plant that only grows in a narrow strip in the west and eastern cape of South Africa, and nowhere else in the world. It has to burn every 17 years to encourage new growth, but it's been burning more frequently and that endangers the population.

@kyzh If you're interested and want to read more on the fynbos stuff, the local fire protection agency goes into a bit more detail here: facebook.com/goFPA/posts/10872

@WelshPixie <3 these photos despite the terrible background story

@WelshPixie The pics are amazing. Shame it is because someone was stupid with a flare pistol.

@WelshPixie sorry.. I was reading these posts in reverse and liking the cool photographers until I got to this one about the cause.. what a stupid amount of damage by a stupid person doing a stupid thing. :(

@WelshPixie that's quite scary! i hope you are and going to be ok!

@WelshPixie This is terrible, but I'm thinking of that old Deep Purple song.

"Smoke on the water / A fire in the sky"
No! We get forest fires quite often here in Colorado in the summer--usually caused by human carelessness. The damage is astonishing. I hope they can contain it soon.

@alysonsee Aye :( They've got most of the active firelines out, there's just two left that they're trying to contain now, and lots of mop-up work :(

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