Battle to protect property as 'huge mountain fire' near Paarl spreads

2020-02-28 11:43
On Friday morning, the inferno in in the Du Toitskloof Pass continued to burn out of control. (Supplied, Daan van Leeuwen Boomkamp)

On Friday morning, the inferno in in the Du Toitskloof Pass continued to burn out of control. (Supplied, Daan van Leeuwen Boomkamp)

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All resources have been deployed to stop the inferno burning in the Du Toitskloof Pass near Paarl, which has caused damage to houses and other property in the vicinity, the Cape Winelands District Municipality said on Friday.

Spokesperson Jo-Anne Otto said the fire continued to burn out of control.

ALSO READ | 'Someone must have prayed': Relief as Paarl blaze is brought under control by firefighters and locals

"Fuelled by very strong winds during the night, the fire has now spread into private properties situated between the old and new tunnels," she confirmed.

The fire broke out in the Du Toitskloof Pass near

The fire broke out in the Du Toitskloof Pass near Paarl on Tuesday. (Supplied, Daan van Leeuwen Boomkamp)


The fire broke out late on Tuesday afternoon, and "good headway" had been made after aerial support was deployed to assist the ground teams, the municipality said.

The fire, however, had spread into higher inaccessible areas overnight.

ALSO READ | 500 hectares of Paarl fynbos destroyed in fire

Daan van Leeuwen Boomkamp, chairperson of the Drakenstein Farm Watch which was also assisting with firefighting efforts, said farm workers, their children as well as horses and pets were evacuated in the Keerweder area from about 04:00.

“In total three trips were made, getting more than 30 local farmworkers out, of whom some needed to be carried due to their age,” he said.

“Some horses got injured rather badly as they tried to escape the flames, but were caught and treated by the vet.”

Western Cape Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said the pass, as well as the Huguenot Tunnel, had been closed owing to the "huge mountain fire".

The tunnel has since been reopened, but the pass remains closed until further notice, he said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires
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