POLITICS

News24.com | Stellenbosch, Franschhoek blaze spreads to areas firefighters can’t reach

A fire in the Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch has spread along the mountains, despite a large crew fighting the blaze. (Photo: Coenraad Heinz Torlage)

A fire in the Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch has spread along the mountains, despite a large crew fighting the blaze. (Photo: Coenraad Heinz Torlage)

  • Firefighters battled flare-ups overnight in the mountain blaze near Stellenbosch.
  • The fire has burned through more than 13 000 hectares.
  • Around-the-clock operations are expected to continue into next week. 

Firefighters continue to battle the mountain fires near Stellenbosch, which started a week ago and have burnt about 13 600 hectares of vegetation.

The blaze has spread to very high, mostly inaccessible terrain, the Cape Winelands municipality said on Sunday.

“The incident command team have reported that the night was quiet, with good progress made in certain areas, despite a major flare-up that occurred just before sundown last night in the Jonkershoek valley just above Lanzerac. The rapid deployment of resources allowed for swift containment,” said the municipality in a statement.

Jonkershoek Valley Fire

A fire in the Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch has spread along the mountains, despite a large crew fighting the blaze. (Photo: Coenraad Heinz Torlage)

Jonkershoek Valley fire

A fire in the Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch has spread along the mountains, despite a large crew fighting the blaze. (Photo: Coenraad Heinz Torlage)

Firefighting teams would be deployed to hotspots in the accessible Jonkershoek areas, where they would continue with the management of flare-ups, monitoring and mopping up operations.

The operations will continue throughout Sunday night and into Monday.

“The teams are being replaced by fresh crews this morning [Sunday]. Today’s predicted hot weather will prove challenging to firefighters and ground teams, as it is conducive to flare-ups and heat exhaustion.  The wind is predicted to increase speed in the late afternoon and the effect of this will be closely monitored.”

Two firefighters are in hospital after being injured.

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