Cape Winelands fire fighters attend to fire outside Franschhoek
The Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Fire Services together with teams from CapeNature are actively engaged in fire fighting activities in the areas of Banhoek and Berg River Dam outside Franschhoek in the Western Cape. There are 60 fire fighters and ground team members assisted by two purpose-built fire vehicles. The terrain is rough and, in many places, inaccessible by vehicle, however, the ground crews are making use of recognised fire fighting techniques to staunch the path of the fire. Another team is creating a firebreak in the Banhoek area.
The fire teams are encouraged by the fact that the weather has stayed the same as this morning, despite earlier warnings of a strong South Easter. A slight shift in wind direction has allowed for improved visibility but the full extent of the fire is still to be determined.
There have been no reports of loss of life, livelihood or infrastructure. The fire teams will continue with fire fighting operations throughout the night.
The CWDM Fire Services requests that spectators not try to get to the fire as this hampers their efforts and places members of the public in danger.
The fire, which started in the Overberg a few days ago, spread into the Cape Winelands area late on Tuesday afternoon. At this stage, it is difficult to establish the full extent of the fire, there has been no loss of life, livelihood or infrastructure.
The Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Jo-Anne Otto said, “The fire is fuelled by a mixture of dense mixed vegetation and a strong breeze. The thick cloud cover the area and smoke caused by the dense fire together with the rain is hampering fire fighter activities.”
She said the Fire Protection Association had warned landowners in the area close to the fire to ensure that property bordering the veld be cleared of dry bushes and other flammable vegetation.
“There is concern that the predicted hot weather on Wednesday will put further pressures on the teams. The fire teams are implementing recognised fire techniques, such as burnouts, to prevent the fire from moving in inhabited areas and crops.”
Fire update: Franschhoek 25.02.2021 – 08h30am
The Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Fire Services continue to battle a fire in the mountains above Franschhoek.
The fire, which is being fuelled by dense, mixed vegetation, is situated in the Banhoek and Bergriver Dam vicinity continues to burn out of control. The various burnouts and fire breaks that the ground teams established yesterday have been holding. The ground teams worked throughout the night, managing flare-ups and beating back the fire line.
The fire crews are made up of fire fighters and ground team members from the Cape Winelands District Municipality and CapeNature. A total of 60 fire fighters, assisted by two purpose-built fire fighting vehicles are currently on scene, the teams will continue with active fire fighting activities today. Aerial support is on standby and will be deployed when required.
Fresh ground teams will replace the teams that worked yesterday. Today’s predicted weather is sunny and a stiff breeze.
Sources: Cape Winelands District Municipality Facebook page, EWN
Photos: H Louw CWDM Firefighter