South Africa: Cape Winelands - Firefighters Battle the Blaze for Another Day


At the peak of the fire season, a week-old runaway fire that originated in the Overberg Mountains continues to burn in the Cape Winelands. As firefighters work to bring the fire that has burnt 13,600 hectares to a halt, nearby residents fear for safety as flags are raised for the short fire-return interval.

Vicious, thick smog hovered over the Cape Winelands District Municipality for the greater part of last week. The air has been stiff with heat for the past week, but now and then the southeaster picks up. Usually, relieved locals would welcome a breeze in the scorching heat that February brings, but not amid a week-old wild fire gone loose.

Firefighters continue to battle a blaze that rages on in the peaks of Bothmaskop and Jonkershoek. At the time of publication, two firefighters had sustained serious injuries. No farmland or property had been damaged but an estimated 13,600 hectares had burnt.

Stellenbosch local Theo van Heerden says it has felt like living next to a volcano this past week, since the fire made its way into the Cape Winelands District. (Photo: Rebecca Pitt)

Set loose

The fire originated in the Overberg Mountains on 21 February, and spread to...

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