High winds fan Western Cape fires

 High winds fan Western Cape fires

23 January 2007

published by www.int.iol.co.za

South Africa — Windy conditions made firefighting difficult as firescontinued to blaze yesterday in Kommetjie, Franschhoek and near Koeberg.

Working on Fire (WoF) spokesperson Val Charlton said the fire at the Noordhoekwetlands near Kommetjie was “burning towards the sea; it can’t really goanywhere else, and it will kill itself”.

“Anything is possible, but it’s very unlikely that it will spread to thehouses in the area”. She added that there was a small estuary between thevegetation and the sea, which would also contribute to the demise of the fire.

Charlton also said there was a lot of vegetation around that didn’t burn easily.

She said a team on the ground assisted helicopters in fighting the fire, whichwas burning from two points: Imhoff’s Gift and Kleinslangkop.

Charlton said the WoF helicopters had also assisted with another veld fire closeto Koeberg. “There is a concern that the smoke is crossing the N7 traffic,”Charlton said.

It is not yet known what caused the fire.

Disaster Management spokesperson Johan Minnie said volunteers were assistingfire services staff.

A Fire Control and Command Centre spokesperson said the fire was over anextensive area and nine vehicles and crews had been deployed to assist thehelicopters.

Firefighters were still trying to contain the blaze after 5pm.

Meanwhile, another fire flared up due to weather conditions in Franschhoek.Charlton said the fire had previously been contained, but started againyesterday. “There was a danger as it was close to a commercial plantation.”

Charlton said the fire was contained for the second time on Monday afternoon.

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