Firefighters monitor Cape blaze that led to holiday resort evacuation

2019-01-07 12:01
The Kogel Bay mountain fire (supplied by City of Cape Town)

The Kogel Bay mountain fire (supplied by City of Cape Town)

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Cape Town firefighters were on Monday keeping an eye on a fire which spread from Betty's Bay and forced the evacuation of holidaymakers at Kogel Bay Resort.

An extensive area of vegetation caught alight along the R44 in the Kogel Bay area on Sunday morning, spreading from Betty's Bay on the upper slopes of the mountain, said City Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Theo Layne.

He said the resort was evacuated to ensure the safety of those who were camping at the site.

A strong south-easterly wind fanned the blaze, but it died down on Sunday and provided some relief to firefighters.

"Crews have remained there throughout the night monitoring the fire, which is on the upper slopes of the mountain. We have one fire engine, one water tanker and one skid unit on [the] scene, assisted by nature conservation," Layne said on Monday.

Read: Betty's Bay blaze: Wind, terrain hampering efforts to put out fire

Road closed

The fire was still burning along the R44 but there was no danger to life or property, the City's safety and security director, Richard Bosman, said.

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa added that the R44 Clarence Drive, between Rooi Els and Gordon's Bay, remained close on Monday morning due to veld fires.

It is understood that a flare had been set off in Betty's Bay on New Year's Day, leading to a fire in the mountains.

One person has been reported dead.

Also read: Overstrand fire: R44 to remain closed overnight

A man, aged 34, is expected to appear in Caledon Magistrate's Court on Monday for the alleged contravention of the Nature Conservation Act.

It is unclear if a murder charge will be added if the police's forensics officials find that the deceased died as a result of the fire.

According to the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association, the fire is 60% contained and has burnt around 5 600 hectares of land.

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