Western Cape: 12 fires break out during heatwave over the weekend

Western Cape firefighters were hard at work as fires raged in the province over the weekend.

This weekend, Cape Town was declared the hottest place to be on the globe. The extreme heatwave did not come without consequences, as fires engulfed most parts of the Western Cape.

Western Cape: 12 fires break out during heatwave over the weekend

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment’s Working on Fire programme dispatched more than 20 aerial resources to assist in fighting 12 fires from Friday, 21 January to Sunday, 23 January.

A total of 88 firefighters from seven Working on Fire teams braved the heat and were dispatched to assist in the suppression efforts of five of the 12 fires.

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Fires were reported in the City of Cape Town, Cape Winelands, West Coast, the Overberg region, and in the Garden Route.

Each of these fires had the potential to quickly spread due to hot and dry weather conditions, but firefighters aggressively fought the blazes with multiple aerial resources.

Working on Fire’s (WoF) dispatched five aerial resources to fight one fire on the West Coast district on Friday, 21 January – two air tractor water bombers, two spotter planes, and a Huey helicopter.

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heatwave fires
Western Cape firefighters fought the blazes with aerial resources. Picture: Working on Fire.

On Saturday, 22 January, the same aerial resources stationed at the Porterville Air Base, were deployed to assist in fighting the Hillcrest fire.

In the Cape Peninsula, four choppers and a spotter plane attended to the Silvermine fire on Saturday, assisting SANParks with successfully containing the fire.

heatwave fires
The aftermath of a fire in the Western Cape. Picture: Working on Fire

In the Garden Route, two air tractor bombers, two spotters and a helicopter responded to a fire in Plettenberg Bay, assisting the Garden Route district municipality.

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“Working alongside the firefighting authorities of the Provincial Disaster Management Centre, district municipalities, local municipalities and landowners, such as Cape Nature and SANParks, WoF resources played an instrumental role in bringing most of the fires into containment,” said the organisation in a statement.

Picture: Working on Fire
Western Cape fires ravaged the province. Picture: Working on Fire.


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