An inspiring effort

Stuart Pringle, Ward, councillor, Ward 84

“Never was so much owed by so many to so few” was a wartime speech made by the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on August 20 1940.

These words could as easily apply to the brave men and women who fought the fires which ravaged parts of the Helderberg between Tuesday and Saturday last week.

With the helicopters flying against very strong winds to water bomb the flames high up on the mountains above the smoke, the photos looked like they came from a war movie.

The fire-fighting staff of the City of Cape Town, and the province, together with the volunteers, made us truly proud and very grateful that we have such capable fire-fighting and disaster management capacity.

Although several buildings and much farmland were destroyed, and residents of some complexes had to be evacuated, albeit temporarily, the fact that not one human life was lost is testimony to the massive effort put in by the fire-fighting and disaster management services and volunteers.

The compassion and care shown to the numerous animals which were also rescued is a further indication of the great work done.

What was truly inspiring to witness though, was the massive effort put in by numerous residents and organisations who volunteered their services assisting with donating and collecting supplies for the fire-fighting teams, helping with, evacuations of people and animals, and providing shelter and support for them.

We were certainly aware that we were not alone in this fight, with people coming to assist from not only the greater metro area of Cape Town, but also from other parts of the province.