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Cape firefighters battle Helderberg flare-up

Firefighters struggle to contain the fire at Lourensford. Picture: Twitter

Firefighters struggle to contain the fire at Lourensford. Picture: Twitter

Published Jun 11, 2022

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Firefighters continue to battle a blaze that has been raging for three days near the Lourensford wine estate in Somerset West that flared up on Saturday, causing smoke to billow out over the Helderberg nature reserve.

The fire started in the obsolete pine plantation at Lourensford where the mixed vegetation, unusually high temperatures and a dry climate presumably caused the fire on Wednesday.

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Jermaine Carelse, spokesperson for the City’s fire and rescue services, said that the fire had flared up again and was also moving in the direction of Erinvale.

He warned residents in Hillcrest Road and the surrounding areas to check their gutters and spray them wet if they can not remove dry leaves.

"If glowing coals end up on these dry leaves, it can cause further fires."

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He also warned residents not to be "fire tourists" and to stay away from the area around the nature reserve to allow emergency services and fire brigade to do their job.

On Saturday the management of the reserve restricted access to the area.

"The public is urged to stay away from the reserve and not to block roads to try to watch the fire. This is causing a major disruption for fire trucks.”

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Management warned residents that flying drones over protected parts of the reserve - especially in the vicinity of the fires was “illegal and extremely dangerous."

Working on Fire said water bombers had been requested to assist but could not be deployed due to windy conditions earlier in the day.

"The pilots are monitoring the situation and will resume their duties as soon as possible."

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