News24

Fire: Wind hampering extinguishing efforts

2011-04-16 20:10

Cape Town - Strong winds were hampering efforts by firemen to extinguish a raging fire in Somerset West on Saturday, Cape Town's Fire Chief Ian Schnetler said.

"We have certain areas under control but the wind is still very strong and we are battling with one area," he said.

Schnetler said no fatalities or injuries had been reported. He said he was trying to confirm whether more than nine houses were damaged.

"All aerial support has gone out because of fading light," he said.

The large bush fire started around 08:00 near Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West and spread rapidly towards surrounding property.

Off duty fire fighters were asked to assist in various sectors and man fire trucks.

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Comments
  • Jeeva - 2011-04-16 20:44

    fire started by a controlled fire that got out of hand when the wind picked up, above erinvale.

      Jerry - 2011-04-16 20:56

      WHAT? You telling us the biggest fire the Cape saw this summer was a controlled fire. Eina. The wind was predicted by the weatherman. Someone messed up. Poor firemen. Must be exhausted by now.

      cialb - 2011-04-16 21:18

      Friends of mine rang the nature reserve and were told that it was a controlled burn, they were concerned that it needed fast action as their house is at the top of the mountain, next to the Reserve. The urged the nature reserve to call for assistance, they said it was not needed. My friend`s house has burnt down now. How can anyone make a fire in this heat and wind? If they had reacted when my friends urged them to, this whole tragedy could have been avoided!!

      Bob - 2011-04-16 22:29

      Shocking!

      Bob - 2011-04-16 22:29

      Shocking!

  • Vernon Dodo - 2011-04-16 21:17

    I thought that much that it was a controlled fire; judging by the perimeter of it, it looked like a controlled fire.

  • Iekraam - 2011-04-16 21:20

    Just got back from the scene. I can tell you that it does not look good at all. The was a huge wall of fire directly next to some homes. People in that area evacuated. Its not gonna be good. Wind strong and blowing in the direction of those homes.

  • cialb - 2011-04-16 21:23

    Hold the Nature reserv accountable!! Warnings for the past 2 days on the weather forecasts for conditions conducive to runaway fires! How can they now claim to have been making a "controlled fire"? They were warned by a neighbour, but seemed to take no notice.

  • braveinternetguy - 2011-04-16 22:25

    There are two particular NASA satellites in orbit around the Earth, namely AQUA and TERRA, both carrying the MODIS instrument. (http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/) This instrument, simply put, detects fires. The two satellites pass over South Africa once every 6 - 12 hours. The data is then received at Hartbeeshoek, and fed to the MERAKA institute at the CSIR in Pretoria. You can play with the data at the AFIS website (http://afis.meraka.org.za) where you will be able to view the latest information about fires in South Africa. I am in no way affiliated with them, I just think it's quite interesting.

  • Optimus - 2011-04-17 07:05

    ANC is involved somewhere somehow.

  • wuwu9968 - 2011-04-18 03:50

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