Cape Town, South Africa — A major veld fire broke out near the Mamre NatureReserve soon after 3pm on Wednesday and took almost two hours for firefighters,helped by a helicopter and working with five fire tenders, to bring undercontrol.
Fransuliene Bosch, provincial co-ordinator of Working on Fire (WoF), said an Mi8helicopter had helped the firefighters.
Only vegetation had been burned and no buildings had been under threat.
Bosch said it was not known what had caused the fire.
WoF appealed to members of the public to exercise caution when they made fires.Humans were to blame for more than 90 percent of wildfires.
Wof advocacy officer Val Charlton said weather forecasters had predicted”orange and yellow” days for this week. The colours indicate the levelof the risk of fire, with red representing conditions that create the greatestthreat.
Meanwhile, in the Doornbach informal settlement, people who had lost their homesin a fire began building others on Wednesday.
Cape Town disaster management spokesperson Johan Minnie said about 50 shacks hadbeen destroyed, leaving 130 people without shelter.
The city’s human settlement services department had given them planks and sheetsof corrugated iron to rebuild their homes. Good Hope International Beverages hadgiven 4 200 boxes of liquid meal supplement.
Meanwhile, firefighters in the Overberg District Municipality are discussingwhether to file a complaint with the police about a farmer who burned refuse onhis land, leading to a runaway blaze in the mountains about 7-kilometres west ofSwellendam on Tuesday.
Reinhard Geldenhuys, the municipality’s chief fire officer, said it would bedecided by this afternoon whether a complaint would be filed or the man fined.
It took three fire engines, three WoF firefighting teams and an Alouettehelicopter about 3½ hours to extinguish the blaze.
Geldenhuys said the municipality expected the man to foot the firefighting bill,about R38 000. “We have warned farmers of the dangers of burning rubbishand that they would have to pay the costs if they start a fire. The man canexpect a bill in the mail.”