Cape Town - 150306 - Crew refuel a Working on Fire Heuy helicopter at the Newlands Fire Base. The helicopters have been dispatched to fire a fire at Cape Point Nature reserve. From left to right: Mafologela Matthews (yellow collar with overal), Foster Manqamane refueling chopper, and Bruce Benson pilot discarding of chemical containers (after refilling the chopper) used in water bombing Photo: Tracey Adams

Cape Town - A young firefighter from the West Coast District Municipality died on Thursday when the fire truck he was driving left the road and plunged down the side of the Dasklip Pass.

Nazeem Davies, 25, from Worcester, was on his way back to the Vredenburg station from the Winterhoek Mountains, near Porterville, where he and his colleagues had helped put out a fire.

West Coast District Municipality spokesman Kallie Willemse said Davies and a colleague, Niklaas Nel, were on their way back to Vredenburg when their fire truck left the road and plunged down the side of the pass.

Nel escaped with slight injuries, but the truck hit a large boulder on the way down, which stopped it but crushed the truck to the point where hydraulic jaws had to be used to extricate Davies’ body from the wreck.

On Friday weary firefighters were still hard at work as they battled a persistent blaze in the Cape Point Nature Reserve that was started by lightning on Wednesday.

The City of Cape Town threw in all the firefighting resources it could to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the borders of the reserve this morning.

The last embers of the Table Mountain National Park fire were slowly dying down, with only minor flare-up concerns still in certain places, said Cape Town Fire Services spokesman Richard Bosman.

In the mountains from Muizenberg to Hout Bay there were no flare-ups overnight, and a reconnaissance flight over the area revealed that there were only small flare-ups this morning.

“We are scaling down the Cape Town operation to give the crews a breather, they are being called in to holding points to rest and take meals,” Bosman said.

“They will then be deployed as required.”

Bosman said the fire at Cape Point had become the main concern now. “But we have a huge amount of resources out there, choppers are dropping (water) as we speak.”.

TMNP fire manager Philip Prins said on Friday morning the fire at Cape Point was not contained and was burning along a broad front.

“The fire now covers an area of about 300 hectares (600 rugby fields). It has not yet escaped the reserve, and that is what we’d want to prevent,” he said.

Earlier, Bosman said the city had employed forensic scientist Dr David Klatsow to help investigate the cause of the fire.


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Cape Argus