While the Helderberg Nature Reserve remains closed to the public in order to complete an assessment of the infrastructure damage and ensure visitors’ safetey, it is reported that ecological damage is likely much less.
The Helderberg Nature Reserve continues to share frequent updates on its Facebook page, Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve, and after the devastating fires over the weekend, they are happy to share some good news.
Even though a preliminary inspection of the reserve found most of the fire damages to be associated with the trails’ infrastructure, ecologically the reserve is “alive with birds and animals all adapting to the renewed landscape”. It is reported that the veld burned at varying intensity, but has left plenty of green “islands” for many of the species that has made the reserve their home.
“Fynbos animals are adapted to fire and know to move from the burning areas. Fortunately fynbos does not burn evenly and there are lots of small unburned ‘islands’ for them to seek cover. Unfortunately there will be some losses but staff working on the fire have already reported a diversity of species sheltering in unburned sections of the reserve and moving through already burned areas,” reports Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve.
They further explain that fire is an important funtion in the Fynbos lifecycle and the regeneration of veld is spectacular. It is said that the proteas have already dropped seeds in abundance and it’s believed that the first greenery will soon peek through the ash.
Unfortunately, many of the foot paths and boardwalks through the lower parts of the reserve have been severely damaged and will require extensive rehabilitation:
Picture: Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve / Facebook