Gordon's Bay fire tamed

A fire that gutted homes in Gordon’s Bay was under control on the edges of the residential area on Tuesday afternoon, but still raging unchecked on the mountain above the town, an official said.

Cape Town fire chief Ian Schnetler said the blaze, fanned by a gale-force southeaster, was still burning fiercely in the Steenbras catchment and Koeel Bay areas.

He said some firefighting crews remained on the outskirts of Gordon’s Bay to control sporadic flare-ups set off by the gusting wind.

Schnetler said two homes were completely burned out on Monday night, and another seven affected to varying degrees.

The gale was making things “very difficult” for the firefighters, he said.

Although two air force Oryx helicopters, plus another contracted to the city’s fire and rescue services, had been brought in on Monday morning to water-bomb the fire, there were times they were unable to fly because of the strong wind.

Earlier the city said the fire had threatened offices, staff quarters, and stores in the Steenbras forestry reserve on Monday night, but it was controlled there and the houses and buildings had been saved.

Five firefighters had been given medical attention, four of them for smoke inhalation and one for a twisted ankle.

Across False Bay, firefighters were able to tame a blaze that broke out on Tuesday morning at Cape Point in Table Mountain National Park, fire boss Philip Prins said.

He said the fire had destroyed about 4ha of fynbos, but had not damaged property.

Teams were “just mopping up” on Tuesday afternoon, and would probably stay there overnight to monitor the situation.—Sapa

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