'We had a few seconds to run' – camper caught up in Cederberg fires

2016-12-21 21:55
Damaged caused to camping equitment by fires in the Cederberg (Marli Goussard, Facebook)

Damaged caused to camping equitment by fires in the Cederberg (Marli Goussard, Facebook)

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Cedar tree planting

2013-05-20 09:01

Patrick Lane, CapeNature conservation manager at Cederberg Wilderness talks about the importance of the Cedar Tree Project in this YouTube video.WATCH

Cape Town – A holidaymaker and his family had seconds to grab what they could before a wildfire spread dangerously close to a campsite they were staying at in the Cederberg.

Clinton du Preez told News24 on Wednesday that while on holiday with his family on the Sanddrif holiday farm on Tuesday afternoon winds blew the fires raging in the area since Friday close to where they were.

"We were still watching helicopters fight flames on the one side of the farm when we realised that the fires had spread incredibly close to our tents," he said. 

"We had a few seconds to run and grab our wallets in our tents and drive away."

Du Preez said even though none of the fires spread to where their tents stood, their camping gear was still damaged. 

"There are holes everywhere in our tents as the small coals burnt through. A mattress that I specially bought last week needs to be thrown away."

Du Preez said some accommodation units were nearly caught in the blaze. 

21 00 hectares of fynbos burnt

"It's a miracle that that the fires didn't burn down any of the chalets," he said. 

The Sanddrif and Driehoek holiday farms did not respond to requests for comment.

According to a statement posted on the Working with Fire Facebook page, the fires started in the Cederberg Wilderness area on Friday.  

Justin Lawrence from CapeNature said more than 21 000 hectares of fynbos and three campsites have been burnt so far. 

Lawrence said by Wednesday afternoon the fires were 90% contained.

He said the fires were not putting anyone in immediate danger.

Teams from CapeNature, Working on Fire, the West Coast District Municipality and neighbouring landowners were working together to combat the flames.

Read more on:    wof  |  cape nature  |  cape town  |  wildfires

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