Over­strand wild­fires reignited by strong winds

Cape Times - - METRO - OKUHLE HLATI [email protected]

FIRE­FIGHT­ERS have had their hands full in the Over­strand re­gion bat­tling wild­fires reignited by strong winds in the Fran­skraal and Hemel-en-Aarde Val­ley ar­eas at the week­end.

At least 31 res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties have been com­pletely de­stroyed and 28 prop­er­ties sus­tained par­tial to ma­jor dam­age in the Betty’s Bay, Kar­wyder­skraal and Fran­skraal ar­eas on Fri­day.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple were forced to evac­u­ate their homes and had not re­turned to them by yes­ter­day.

A 71-year-old res­i­dent was se­ri­ously in­jured while evac­u­at­ing his home and two fire­fight­ers were taken to a med­i­cal fa­cil­ity for the treat­ment of a sprained an­kle and smoke in­hala­tion.

More than 12 800 hectares of veg­e­ta­tion have also been burned.

By yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity said only the Betty’s Bay fire was con­tained and mop op­er­a­tions con­tin­ued, while in Fran­skraal and Hemel-en-Aarde Val­ley, fire­fight­ers were still bat­tling the blaze.

Eskom power lines were also dam­aged and most ar­eas in Over­strand are with­out elec­tric­ity. Eskom tech­ni­cians and other of­fi­cials were on scene try­ing to re­store the power.

Wa­ter tanks were mov­ing through the streets in Betty’s Bay and sur­round­ing ar­eas. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity said wa­ter tanks will fur­ther be sta­tioned at Pen­guin Place and the Best Place in Town Pub & Grill in Betty’s Bay.

“The fire is spread­ing be­tween the farms and is threat­en­ing homes and in­fra­struc­ture. All res­i­dents are in­formed and their safety is the main con­cern. Ae­rial sup­port has again been called and ground crews are bat­tling to con­tain the flames.

“Al­though good progress is be­ing made, the Her­manus fires are still very ac­tive. Fire is con­tained to the north­ern side of the moun­tain and cur­rently there is no threat to res­i­den­tial ar­eas,” said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

In Hemel-en-Aarde nu­mer­ous fire teams, wa­ter bombers, chop­pers and re­sources were de­ployed. The lo­cal com­mu­nity and Ru­ral Safety as­sisted with heavy ve­hi­cles and crews while in Fran­skraal, at Groe­neweide, a fire-line jumped and spread rapidly and crossed the Baardskeerder­s­bos tar road.

The R43 Fran­skraal in­ter­sec­tion at Uilkra alsmond and the R43, Fran­skraal to­wards Baardskeerder­s­bos, were closed due to the thick smoke af­fect­ing vis­i­bil­ity.

AYANDA NDAMANE African News Agency (ANA)

Thirty-one res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties were com­pletely de­stroyed and 28 prop­er­ties sus­tained par­tial to ma­jor dam­age in the Betty’s Bay, Kar­wyder­skraal and Fran­skraal ar­eas on Fri­day. |

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.