Working on Fire fought 99 fires in December

2016-01-12 18:12
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Fire services: Containing fires far more difficult in 2016

2016-01-12 10:30

A fire broke out on the slopes above Scarborough, Cape Town, in the early hours of Monday morning, and was spreading towards Ocean View. We spoke to Ocean View residents, as well as the Fire Manager for the Table Mountain National Park. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Working on Fire, the national department of environmental affairs’ programme that deals with veld and forest fires, handled almost 100 fires in December.

And most of those were in the Western Cape.

Working on Fire national spokesperson, Linton Rensburg, said since December, in the Western Cape alone, just under 800 firefighters had provided fire suppression services to fire authorities in battling more than 70 "intense" veld fires.

In the latest fires, which burnt through the Cape Peninsula and the Overberg, almost 200 firefighters from Working on Fire were deployed.

"In addition, eight helicopters and four fixed-wing spotter planes and four fixed-wing water bombers were active in these fires during the past few days," he said in a statement.

Rensburg said the 99 fires countrywide in December resulted in a total loss of 39 000ha.

"Fifty-two teams of 1 300 firefighters were active on these fires. Our firefighters continue to remain on high alert and a national deployment team of firefighters are ready to be dispatched to the Western Cape and other hotspot areas throughout the country," he said.

The current drought and high temperatures led to unusual fire activities in the Free State, which lost 23 000ha in December, he said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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