Western Cape fires flare up

2017-01-09 23:12
Fires racing down the mountain above Lourensford Estate. (Benn Vosloo, Facebook)

Fires racing down the mountain above Lourensford Estate. (Benn Vosloo, Facebook)

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Cape Town – A senior fire official in the Stellenbosch area says firefighters battled more fires in the Western Cape on Monday night.

Regional fire commander Graeme Roberts told News24 that a fire broke out in the evening between Stellenbosch and Franschoek causing two hectares of vegetation to go up in flames.

“We do not know how it started. We have it under control for the moment. We are damping down now. I have ground teams on the perimeter of the fire and firefighter vehicles are here.”

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen on Monday said that the devastating wildfires that had spread around Somerset West last week, stretching firefighting resources, destroying a luxury lodge and causing around R60m damage, were started by people.

Fires above Lourensford Estate. (Benn Vosloo, Facebook)

In a Facebook post Owen Wittridge of the Helderberg Nature Reserve said:

"Sawmill and orchards at Schoemansvlei. Also burning at Diepgat and Sneeukop River. We not out of the woods. We have over 120 men fighting the fire."

On the Somerset West Facebook public page, Karen Rykaart posted this message:

“Fires are burning high up in the mountains but the level of smoke have prevented the helicopters from flying. The fires then started back down the mountain where they are being contained. Water bombing will be required to extinguish the fire. More teams are being brought in tomorrow (Tuesday). The Likelihood is that this will continue until Thursday.”

The high winds and difficult terrain are making it difficult to bring the fire under control.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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