Status: 60% contained.
Additional fire trucks and aerial resources had to be activated with the arrival of “spike hour”. The spread of the fire over the R43 and defending “die Kop” and all four active lines was very challenging. We are grateful for all the support received, the continuous hard work and resilience demonstrated by the teams on the lines.
A quick summary:
– The area West of the R43 was contained by 17.00. Thus, no spread to the larger Walker Bay area.
– The fire was safely “brought around” the “die Kop” with no injuries and with minimal damage. This was a very traumatic and trying time for all affected people – community members, fire fighters and law enforcement (supported by the SA Defence Force). The community has moved back home already.
– The “Wortelgat line”. An active line ran parallel with the Wortelgat road. After a meeting with the IMT, the landowners, with support from neighbouring areas, manage to “keep the line”.
– Infrastructure protection required the bulk of the aerial response. The poultry farms were at high risk from this morning till 18.00 tonight.
– CapeNature responded in full force and protected Dadelkom (preventing spread to Die Kelders). We are keeping teams on this line to ensure no further spread.
– Environmental Services assisted with the moving of animals out of harm’s way.
– Medical services – St Johns, SA Defence Force – were on standby and assisted with the evacuations.
Our current challenges:
– There are still active lines at Mierkom and Walkerbay Reserve. This team is currently strategising on how to best stop the fire.
– The R43 is partially closed due to the high voltage power line that is lying on the road. Currently only cars are allowed through. ESKOM is on site and doing their best to restore power and make road travel safe again.
– Ongoing efforts to protect the R43 and spread below and across the road at the general area of the poultry farm. A mammoth effort is underway to “close” those lines. We are confident that we will successfully fight the fire here.
– Mopping up operations will continue.
Overstrand Municipal Manager, Dean O’Neill