Respite for Cape fire-fighters as strong winds subside

2014-12-02 23:11
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It's a very dirty job! - Volunteer firefighters

2014-12-02 12:46

During fire season, the Western Cape Peninsula alone experiences between 70 and 90 fires. Wildfires are common occurances around the country, especially during the hot summer months. We're joined in studio by representatives from the Volunteer Wildfire Services in the Western Cape who speak to us about their dangerous and exciting job.WATCH

Cape Town - Fire-fighters battling wildfires on the slopes of Signal Hill and threatening the Atlantic seaboard of Cape Town, have had some respite as the 40km/h winds started subsiding.

Shortly before 21:00 the wind dropped enough to allow the fire-fighters the opportunity for a final intensified push to put the fire out.

All the major blazes have been extinguished and the teams are now tending to the remaining hot spots in the vicinity of Fresnaye Camps Bay.

- Was your house threatened by the flames? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

The fire started just after 16:15 near Top Road in Fresnaye this afternoon and was fanned on by a strong southeaster wind. At 16:45 it was reported that property was in danger at 43 Head Road as the fire was burning along the fence of the property.

Members of the SANParks and Volunteer Wildfire Service were called in to help. Wilfred Schrevian Evan Solomons-Johannes of the Disaster Operations Centre says just after 18:00 a second fire was reported above Fresnaye. An hour later residents reported the fire had spread to Avenue Fresnay and Avenue Huguenots. Emergency vehicles and crews were redirected to the area to control the fire.

Kloof Neck road in the direction of Signal Hill has been closed for traffic as well as St Bartholomew and Ocean View Drive says Maxine Jordaan of Cape Town Traffic.

Theo Layne of the Cape Town fire service says 76 firemen from the city and 52 fire fighters of the Table Mountain National Park crew are ensuring that the fire does not encroach on the urban fringe.

Eleven fire engines and four water tankers are being used.

Linton Rensburg, the spokesperson for Working on Fire says the the latest fire at Lions Head and Signal Hill in Cape Town is a clear indication that we are in for a busy Western Cape Summer Fire Season.

Currently there are three Working on Fire teams at the fire from Newlands, Falsebay and Mamre. There are about 50 fire-fighters up in mountain working under difficult windy conditions.

Earlier, three Working on Fire Helicopters and one spotter plane were deployed to help.

At present no houses are being threatened, but high winds continue to pose a threat. Residents of the area are advised to keep their doors and windows closed.

A News24 user sent us some pictures, as seen below, of the fire-fighters in action. See the full set here.



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