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Fires in the hills of franschhoek and la petite ferme?

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Beal100
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59 posts
6 reviews
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Fires in the hills of franschhoek and la petite ferme?

Hi,

I was thinking about staying at le petite ferme for 2 nights on December 30 and 31st, but read that there had been fires burning in the hills up there, and that they actually lost some property themselves? I live in NYC, in the United states, so have no idea about this other than a random bloggers notes and pictures from earlier this year. After which I searched and found some articles back in february about it. Would this affect my stay/view/scenery? Any thoughts or info on the topic would be appreciated. Thanks!

Lauren

Cape Town
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1. Re: Fires in the hills of franschhoek and la petite ferme?

Was hoping someone who lives in the area would answer, but I'll tell you what I have seen. Drove through here about a month ago (Fire was in Feb I think?) and while I did notice some cutting down of burnt trees, it was all on the hill behind Le Petit Ferme - which wouldn't affect your view into the valley. And I think by December (mid summer again) the hill will be back to green and pretty - just perhaps with a few less trees. Nothing worth canceling over.

Franschhoek
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2. Re: Fires in the hills of franschhoek and la petite ferme?

Hi Lauren

The fire damage to La Petite Ferme was minimal and most of the view into the valley is (and will be) as pretty as ever. The damage to the trees in parts of the Keerweerder valley (below La Petite) and up the pass (behind La Petite) was extensive and many of the burnt trees are being cleared at present. By December much of the pass will have been cleared and you'll probably get as magnificent a view driving up the famous road as anyone has ever had and the remnants of the fire will be just that - a distant reminder.

I'm sure that come December 31st your only regret will be that you can't take the view with you and that you didn't book to stay a couple of days longer!

If you'd like me to, I'll head up to La Petite this weekend and take a couple of pics into the valley and up the pass to give you a better idea - just let me know.

Franschhoek Local

Belfast
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3. Re: Fires in the hills of franschhoek and la petite ferme?

Obviously it is good news that the fires did not kill anyone or damage property but the loss of the mostly evergreen trees is a pity - without wishing to make any direct accusations, one does wonder how these fires started and whether there was not some element of baboon management going on

Franschhoek
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4. Re: Fires in the hills of franschhoek and la petite ferme?

Hi Taxman

No doubt there was some monkey-business, but it appears that the folks from Working for Water were the cause of the fires in the heighbouring Theewaterskloof area. The danger was underestimated and once things got out of hand and came across the mountain to Franschhoek the firefighters were pretty much stuck given the inhospitable terrain. Most of the baboons would have watched from a distance and probably got some return from the fires as the evergreens were mostly pines and don't do much more for the local fauna than the odd spot of shelter. With that gone and our attention on other things, our vines and the displaced animals were right for the picking!

Cheers

Local

Beal100
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5. Re: Fires in the hills of franschhoek and la petite ferme?

Thanks to all for the responses. Not sure I understand the last bit about baboons, but I presume the conclusion is that the area should look okay by the time we head up for a visit?

Lauren

Belfast
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6. Re: Fires in the hills of franschhoek and la petite ferme?

To explain the baboons - over recent years there has been an ever increasing troop of baboons in the hills at the southern end of the valley, especially in the wooded heights above La Petite Ferme. They can cause a lot of damage to the vineyards and they sleep at night up a tree if they can't find a cave. However if the fire started the other side of the pass then perhaps baboon management was not the cause

London
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80 posts
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7. Re: Fires in the hills of franschhoek and la petite ferme?

read this well written blog posting from Rob Armstrong at Haut Espoir regarding the baboons and the recent fire;

hautespoir.com/2010/…

you'll have a great time in our beautiful valley

8. Re: Fires in the hills of franschhoek and la petite ferme?

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