Fires in Cape Winelands still out of control


The Cape Wineland District Municipality’s (KWDM) fire services confirm that the fires in the Breede Valley and Witzenberg are still burning out of control.

“The day began with great optimism, with the hope that at least two of four fire lines could be camped,” says Jo-Anne Otto, spokeswoman for KWDM. “However, a strong northwesterly wind picked up from early in the day and caused the lines to continue spreading much faster than expected. The only fire line where progress has been made is the Elandsberg line.”

She says at all the other lines crews had a difficult day, with very little progress.

“The fire in Bainskloof/Slanghoek was difficult and unfortunately four properties at Steenbok Park were lost. The fire line quickly moved to Second Toll where crews are doing structure protection. The fire line currently runs from the Bainskloof valley to the mountains above Slanghoek, and is 6.5 km long.”

At the Fairy Glen fire outside Worcester, there are still small fires high up in the mountain, and a larger section further down, but there are ground crews working on them.

All crews will continue active firefighting throughout the night.

It is the seventh day that the Kluitjieskraal fire rages on. This fire broke out on 22 January and a total of 23,600 hectares have already been destroyed.

It is the third day of firefighting at the Fairy Glen fire. Around 2,000 hectares have already been destroyed here.

Eleven ground crews, 12 firefighting vehicles and 115 fire personnel were deployed. A total of 48 structures have already been destroyed.

KWDM fire services and their contracted ground crews, NCC and air support, Leading Edge Aviation, working together and supported by West Coast District, Swartland, Breedevallei, Drakenstein and Witzenberg Municipalities, CapeNature, Volunteer WildFire Services, Working on Fire, the Department of Fisheries, Forests and environment, the provincial disaster management center and the fire protection association, which also forms part of the Incident Control Post (IBP).