Stellenbosch sports science institute evacuated

2015-03-11 11:34
A view of the Jonkershoek fire. <p><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:'Calibri','sans-serif';">(<a href="https://twitter.com/Ernst_SA" target="_blank">Ernst Gouws, Twitter</a>)</span></p>

A view of the Jonkershoek fire.

(Ernst Gouws, Twitter)

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Cape Town - The Stellenbosch University Sport Performance Institute has been evacuated as fires from the Jonkershoek blaze are threatening the campus.

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The campus, situated in the Coetzenburg area, is undergoing a process of evacuation amid fears of a ‘runaway fire’, according to tweets.

“We’ve been placed on high alert and are currently evacuating,” a receptionist at the institute confirmed.

Cape Nature spokesperson Justin Lawrence has requested people steer clear of the area.

The university has also moved farm animals and farmworkers from the area, and has cancelled all sporting activities, EWN reported.

Craig van Reenen, assistant chief at the Stellenbosch Fire Department, is currently battling the fire on the front line, and was not in a position to comment just yet.

He did, though, say that they are currently fighting the fire on six fronts, and confirmed that no properties have been damaged as yet.

Helderberg basin

The blaze is also spreading closer to the Helderberg basin, which is over the Helderberg mountain range to the south, Cape Nature's Justin Lawrence continued.

“Some farms are under threat, but no properties have been damaged,” he told News24.

200 firefighters have been deployed to the area, while helicopters have resumed water-bombing efforts.

About 2900 hectares of vegetation have been destroyed as of Wednesday morning.

Lawrence said the goal for the day is to perform a ‘back burn’, a process that involves starting a second, controlled fire in an effort to join the two blazes and change the line of the first, raging fire.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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