Children set off mountain fire near Goudini

Children set off mountain fire near Goudini

18 January 2006

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South Africa — Farm children who were playing with fire sparked a mountain blaze in the Slanghoek Mountains on Tuesday.

According to Danie Wilds, chief fire officer for the Winelands, the fire swept into the mountains and did not threaten the Witels Rivier Farm, on which it had started.

The area in which the fire was burning was on the Slanghoek Road, near the Bains Kloof turn-off, about 20km from the Goudini Spa, Wilds said.

He said a CapeNature helicopter had been fighting the flames that were too high for the fire brigade’s vehicles to reach.

Zane Erasmus, programme manager for CapeNature, confirmed that the fire was burning on CapeNature land and that they had sent out a helicopter. 

He said the helicopter was mainly used to drop ground crew near to the fire.

According to assistant reserve manager Arnelle van Noie, the fire was not threatening any property or farmland.

Van Noie, who was on the scene, said later on Tuesday afternoon the fire had moved further down and the ground crews were tackling it.

The blaze, in the higher and lower sections of the mountain, was moving into young veld, about six years old, which did not burn easily.

Also, it was getting cooler as night approached. “The fire will burn itself out or at least burn very slowly,” Van Noie said.

They would fly over the area early today and if the fire had not died and was burning higher up, the helicopter would be called back to fight it at first light.

By 5pm on Tuesday, said Erasmus, the fire had been contained. He said they would send out a spotter on Wednesday morning and, if the fire had spread, take action as needed.


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