5 January 2017

South Africa: Western Cape Fires Finally Under Control

Fires in Somerset West, Stellenbosch and Grabouw were now under control, firefighters confirmed on Thursday.

According to City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue spokesperson Theo Layne, fires along the Helderberg Mountains around Somerset West, which had been burning since Tuesday morning, had been totally contained.

"Somerset West fires are 100% controlled. We are dealing with numerous hotspots in the area, but most fires are under control," he said.

Layne told News24 on Thursday morning that the fires had hit the historic Lourensford Wine Estate.

"Some section of Lourensford was damaged by fires," he said.

According to Layne, the City was investigating a total of seven structures that had burned down in the broader Somerset West area since Tuesday.

Fires on the Grabouw side of the Helderberg Mountains had also been contained.

"We are currently fighting (fire) lines in Grabouw, but most of the fire is contained," Overberg fire chief Reinhardt Geldenhuys said.

"No farms are threatened on our side. Ecologically sensitive wild land is burning, which we'd like to protect."

According to Geldenhuys, 3 543 hectares of land on the Helderberg Mountains had burned since Tuesday.

Blazes in the Jonkershoek Mountains around Stellenbosch had also been contained.

"Everything is under control. We are busy with cool down work and investigations in the area," Tamryn Lewis, from the Winelands fire brigade, said.

Source: News24

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