Now that winter is here and the grass is turning brown and drying out there is smoke in the air and black patches of burned grass everywhere as one drives out of town.
. The explanation for this might change depending on who you talk to or what part of the country you are in. One person will tell you the grass fires are caused by carelessness and another will tell you that they are designated burns. One thing for sure is that I have never seen anyone supervising a burn no matter where it is located or what time of day. We drove out into a township by Ennerdale one night last week and looking out over the fields we saw a long row of flames as the grass burn moved along .The fires can be somewhat disconcerting when you notice that they have come so close to the road, the telephone poles and residences. One of our home teaching families had to combat the grass fire as it traveled past her fence and into their yard
“We do it for safety purposes, otherwise the grass continues to grow and then when it burns it’s really dangerous,” said one South African. “When it burns, the new grass grows. It’s perfectly safe.”
It appears that grass fires are indigenous to South Africa. You can find them anywhere grass grows. No one seems very bothered by them except maybe the people whose eyes burn and the people who cough, sneeze and sputter because of the smoky air created by them. But these people are probably not true South Africans….. like myself.