Firefighting teams in the province have been stretched to their limits, battling a number of blazes in recent days as warm weather and strong winds fanned the flames.
Fires have been reported in multiple areas including informal settlements in Cape Town, Overstrand and Cape Winelands towns.
In Betty’s Bay, the Hangklip fire has prompted precautionary evacuation orders for households from the corner of Porter Drive and Delport Road towards Silversands.
A full evacuation order was issued on Tuesday for Pringle Bay, with Kleinmond Town Hall designated as the emergency evacuation centre The Cape Winelands District Municipality said their fire services and partners spent Wednesday working in very hot and unpleasant conditions.
“The fires at Elandsberg and Bainskloof/Slanghoek that started on January 22 have been contained and no flare-ups have been reported.
“At the Fairy Glen fire, all areas have been contained, except for a problematic line running along a ridged area in the direction of Kanetvlei. Services deployed an NCC helitak team this afternoon to address the fire line. A helitak team is a ground team with skills specifically aimed at high altitude firefighting. They are flown, with all their gear, food and water by helicopter to a drop off point close to the fire, where they will stay overnight if required.”
At the Brandvlei fire site, mop-up and containment procedures are limited to the areas that have already burned.
“Firefighters and ground teams are unable to get close to the fire line as the terrain, fuel loads and flame height prevent direct attack procedures.
“Aerial resources are ineffective, the very dense vegetation, prevents water from reaching the ground. Even so, Aerial resources are on standby to ensure fast deployment if required.
The operational teams stated that if conditions allow, teams will be able to apply different firefighting techniques to prevent further spreading and/or contain the fire.”
There are nine firefighting vehicles and crew and 65 ground crew members on the scene.
Working on Fire said that it had deployed resources to battle fires in Kluitjieskraal, Pringle Bay, Buffelsjag, Grabouw and Brandvlei.
“Our aerial resources have taken to the skies, are chasing daylight, and providing crucial support to our ground crews.
“Demonstrating our expertise in wildland fire suppression, two helicopters, a spotter, and the Vredenburg team are working together, collaborating with various organisations, to combat the Pringle Bay fire.
The collaboration of multiple firefighting organisations, including our extensive resources, each bringing unique skill sets, has proven instrumental during Western Cape’s major fires this Summer Fire Season.
By pooling our strengths and working together, we amplify our collective ability to respond effectively, ensuring the safety of our communities.”
CapeNature on Wednesday also posted a fire risk alert over the next three days.
Fires ravage parts of WC after hot weather
“The Western Cape faces dangerous
to extreme fire conditions. For your
safety, prepare water supplies, and stay
tuned to local news. Keep loved ones
safe, avoid areas sensitive to fires, and
evacuate if advised.”