Effect of fires studied

2016-03-22 06:00

An investigation into the effects of recent fires along mountain slopes in the Far South will cost R2m.

The study, which started earlier this month, will be carried out in Simon’s Town and Redhill, Fish Hoek, Scarborough to Ocean View and Glencairn. It will look at ways to minimise the risk of flooding, mud rushes and damage to the built environment.

The fire in Scarborough which took place in January saw hundreds of firefighters battling the blaze that spread to Ocean View, Misty Cliffs and Kommetjie.

Vegetation fires in Glencairn took place in the weeks after.

The investigation will try find out to what extent stormwater drainage was affected by the recent fires, “with the intention of implementing risk mitigation measures”, says Brett Herron, the City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for transport.

“Consultants assist with mitigation measures only where the potential impact on the stormwater network is significant. Proactive interventions vary from short and medium-term to long-term. Short-term measures are usually required before the next winter rains, as opposed to the long-term solutions,” Herron says.

It is also vital to communicate risks and mitigation measures to the public, he says.

“The consultants usually assist the City with a comprehensive communication strategy to communicate the risks and mitigation measures to the communities next to the affected areas,” he says.

It is anticipated that the investigation and the recommendations that come out of it will comprise short-term imminent interventions before the winter rainfalls, Herron explains.

“The medium-term measures will include the design and implementation of minor infrastructure improvements, while the longer-term interventions may include the construction of new capital works, as well as the refurbishment of existing stormwater infrastructure,” he says.

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