Wildfire at Raubenheimer Dam in Greater Oudtshoorn on the Garden Route extinguished
A wildfire in the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipal area near the Raubenheimer Dam, which was reported to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Emergency Call Centre at 13h25 on Sunday, 25 April 2021, is now extinguished. According to GRDM station commander Johan Brand, the wildfire was extinguished on Wednesday, 28 April 2021. Brand said, “The fire allegedly started South East of the Raubenheimer Dam, south of the Rust en Vrede Road. Resources included the Garden Route District Municipality Fire Services with two skid units and one bush tanker, George Municipality Fire Service with one water supply tanker, Working on Fire with two hot shot teams and one normal team and Kishugu aerial support with a fixed-wing spotter, a Huey helicopter and a fixed-wing AT802 bomber. There was no loss of life or structures.”
SC Brand continued, “Incident commanders during the wildfire were Deon Stoffels on 25 April 2021, Johan Brand on 26 April 2021 and Heinrich Leslie on 28 April 2021. Incident management teams were managed by Operational Chief Deon van Wyk and divisional chiefs David van Niekerk and Heinrich Leslie. Fire fighting operations included ground teams supported by aerial fire fighting to protect property and livestock and included offensive tactics by ground teams on accessible lines during night time.”
“The total area burnt to date is approximately 1 500ha and included veld and farm grazing. The vegetation burnt included Karoo vegetation with a lot of Renosterbos while the weather conditions were hot with medium strong North Western winds on the first day and night. It was cloudy with light wind from day two onwards,” said Brand.
He added that the challenges faced included the wind conditions with inaccessibility on the first day, which made operations and control difficult. “Personnel extinguished all lines by hand as no vehicle could get access.”
"George Fire Brigade sent a tanker, which was utilised to provide the fixed-wing bomber with water,” George Municipality added.
'Fire fighters from the Garden Route District Municipality and Working on Fire from Uniondale performed mopping up operations along the fireline at Vergelegen situated between Oudtshoorn and De Rust. Mopping up consisted of cutting a tracer line along hotspots and applying water to burning stumps and ant mounds along a 1km perimeter,” said Wayne Young, Uniondale base manager and eastern extension officer for the Southern Cape Fire Protection Association.
Sources: Johan Brand, station officer; Garden Route District Municipality Fire and Emergency Services and Wayne Young
Uniondale base manager and eastern extension officer, Southern Cape Fire Protection Association