Ricochet News

Raging fires in the Eastern and Western Cape keep more than 200 firefighters busy

Dec 8, 2016
Raging fires in the Eastern and Western Cape keep more than 200 firefighters busy

More than 200 firefighters, including firefighting aircraft, were kept busy at multiple fires in Pinehaven, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Baviaanskloof and Port Elizabeth, said Working on Fire Pty (Ltd), which runs the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Expanded Public Works programme, Working on Fire (WoF).

In Port Elizabeth, a huge fire that broke out in the Theescombe area of Port Elizabeth on Tuesday and destroyed a large swath of the veld as well as a home. Several homes close to the veld fire were also evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Another fire broke out in the Circular Drive area of Lorraine, Port Elizabeth, on Wednesday morning, unsettling many residents, who had witnessed the Tuesday fire.

It is still to be determined what exactly caused the fires and how much damaged in Rands they caused.

Dry weather conditions also helped to spread the fires.

Western Cape Fires

On Wednesday, Working on Fire said that fires were raging at the Crags/Redford Road Fire there are close to 50 firefighters from the WOF Eastern and Southern Cape assisting Southern Cape Fire Protection Association, Provincial Disaster Management Centre, Bitou Fire and Rescue Services, MTO Forestry, Crags FMU, Plett South FMU, Askop FMU, SANParks and Cape Pine.

Aerial resources included two water bombers, two helicopters and a spotter plane, spending more than 20 flying hours and dropped more than 300 000 litres of water, committed to saving lives and protecting the environment.

Other fires spread across the Southern Cape included:

The Gondwana Fire in Riversdale is currently ongoing with the Riversdale Team assisting the SCFPA in an ongoing effort to contain the blaze.

"Close 60 WOF firefighters assisting partners such as CapeNature, the Greater Overberg FPA and SCFPA, with mop up operations at the Botrivier, Grabouw and Knysna to ensure that no flare ups occur and that the area remains safe," Working on Fire said.