Somerset West fires out 'for now'

Fires that were threatening historic wine estates in Somerset West have been put out “for now”, Cape Town fire management said on Thursday morning.

“The fires may have been put out for now, but hot spots remain—whether it flares up again all depends on the weather,” said control room officer Deon Smit.

“If hot and windy weather conditions continue, they may just start again.”

He said that 30 firefighters and emergency personnel were on standby, in case the fires flared up again.

“They are on scene ... if the fires flare up, then we have people on the ground to tramp them out as soon as possible, but for now, the wine estates are no longer under threat.”

The fires had raged on three farms, posing a threat to the Vergelegen, Lourensford and Knorhoek wine estates.

By Wednesday, the fire which could have reached the Lourensford wine estate died down.

“Late on Wednesday one last fire was raging in Adventure Park, but that was finally put out.”

Senior communications officer for Cape Town fire management Winston Davids said: “There was nothing left to burn on that farm, whatever was left to burn, was burnt.”

Smit said the two other fires were put out by firefighters, and with helicopters carrying water bombs.

Smit could not say how much damage was caused by the fires.—Sapa