Western Cape wildfires destroy 122 700 hectares

2017-02-28 20:55
Wildfires at Goudini Spa resort have damaged four rondavels. (Abidah Dixon Mohamed, Facebook)

Wildfires at Goudini Spa resort have damaged four rondavels. (Abidah Dixon Mohamed, Facebook)

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Cape Town – Wildfires destroyed an estimated 122 700 hectares in the Western Cape at the start of 2017, says an interim report. 

"Our initial data shows that natural vegetation, grazing, agricultural infrastructure such as fencing and water pipelines, and a range of crops and fynbos were hardest hit," economic opportunities MEC Alan Winde said in a statement. 

The report was compiled by the Western Cape agriculture department to help the province with future planning.

"If the [final] assessment finds that farmers need further assistance, [we] can submit a funding application to the National Treasury," Winde said. 

"We would also be able to determine what the greatest need is. This could include fodder in instances where grazing land was destroyed."

The estimated number of hectares destroyed per region is:

AreaHectares Burnt
Swartberg/ Meiringspoort/ De Rust 35 000ha
Witzenberg/ Tulbagh 1 500ha
Paarl/ Hawequa 2 200ha
Stilbaai/ Riversdal 20 000ha
Haarlem8 000ha
Plettenbergbaai20 000ha
Ruitersbos/ Gondwana 10 000ha
Cederberg/ Wupperthal 26 000ha

Winde notes that the Drakenstein region in particular reported extensive damage. 

Earlier this year three manor houses and their out buildings as well as several hundred hectares of vines were destroyed by wildfire.  

At the time News24 reported that the impact on the economy extended further than just the properties which had burnt down. It included the loss of money for businesses in outstanding orders, and the staff who were dependent on affected businesses for their livelihoods.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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