Several fires started on Paarl farms

Henry

No less than five fires were started last week on at least two farms in the vicinity of Klein-Drakenstein near the Paarl.

A sixth fire was also started the same day between the orchards of a third farm in the area.

According to DFW Fire & Rescue, two farms were initially set on fire in four different locations on Thursday afternoon before a fifth fire was also started on one of the farms hours later.

According to this firefighting service, members of the community called them after 15:00 on Thursday.

Four different fires were raging at that stage and firefighters were able to determine within minutes of their arrival on the farms that the fires were deliberately set in different places.

The firefighters jumped to work and the fires were brought under control three hours and 24,000 liters of water and chemicals later.

The firefighters were just about ready to go home, when the call came from a fifth fire “on the same farm, but completely on the other side”.

Firefighters rushed to the scene in two fire trucks and the flames were quickly extinguished before the small fire could develop into a large fire.

The firefighters were back at their head office by early evening when they received another call – this time about a fire on a nearby farm along Sonstraal Road.

“Between the orchards again,” and again on purpose, explains the farm guard.

The farmer was not at home at the time, but the fire was quickly extinguished and only half a block of cultivated vineyard was finally burnt down.

DFW Fire & Rescue says the damage to property, firefighting costs, loss of income, the destruction of valuable arable land, and the simple fact that arsonists often get away easily, makes community members feel unsafe.

“Whether the motivation is political in nature or hate or plain ignorance, the end results remain the same and leave our communities in fear and ruin.”