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WATCH: ‘It looked like a volcano erupted’ says firefighter battling Helderberg blaze

Published Jun 13, 2022

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Firefighters have been battling the blaze on the Helderberg mountain since Wednesday afternoon, and with some rain forecast for this week they are hopeful it will bring the fire under control.

Ronaldo Duncan, firefighter at Sir Lowry’s Pass Fire Station, recalls how strong overnight winds on Friday fanned the flames.

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“For a minute it looked like a volcano erupted. The whole side of the mountain was ablaze,” he said.

The fire began on the slopes of the Helderberg mountain close to Lourensford Farm on Wednesday evening, but escalated on Friday evening.

“The thing about a mountain fire in my experience, is that we can try our best to contain it and manage it but it’s difficult to extinguish it. We know the weather report says there will be rain coming in the next 24 hours and that will assist us drastically in the situation,” Duncan said.

City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said about 400 hectares of land has been affected so far and five properties have been engulfed.

On Sunday evening, Carelse said about 90 City of Cape Town firefighters were on the scene with 24 fire engines.

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Firefighters from Working on Fire, CapeNature Reserves, and Volunteer Wildfire Services played an integral role in fighting the fire, he said.

“It has been a tremendous effort but unfortunately one of the things that we can’t control is the wind. There’s enough boots on the ground to contain this fire.

“How the fire started will be investigated by the land owners themselves, which is Lourensford Estate,” Carelse said.

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