Flames recently engulfed large parts of Fernkloof Nature Reserve, leaving a smoking blackened landscape behind. It is hard to imagine that this is a good thing. But less than two weeks later the Fire Lilies (Cyrtanthus species) were appearing as red splashes against the black. As quickly as they came, they wilted and faded away, not to be seen again until the next fire. The fact is that Fynbos needs fire to renew itself. Fire returns nutrients to the poor soil in the form of ash and allows seeds to germinate and shrubs to re-sprout. A minimum of ten to fifteen years is needed till the next fire to allow the new plants to flower and produce enough seeds for the next cycle of renewal. In Fynbos, life rises phoenix-like from the ashes.