More rain required to help completely extinguish fire near Somerset West

After battling a fire at Table View in Cape Town for some days, the city’s fire and rescue teams have been able to stand down after rains helped get the blaze under control on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain near the Lourensford Estate in Somerset West.

On Monday morning the spokesperson for Cape Town City Fire and Rescue, Jermaine Carelse, confirmed that 95% of the fire had been contained and that teams would continue to do regular inspections of the area to ensure it did not flare up once more.

“Although the rain has started and dampened the open ground, a lot more rain is required to ensure that all smouldering coals are extinguished. The fire services and ground crew teams will continue to do regular inspections of vulnerable areas such as the pine plantations and other areas with dense vegetation,” said Carelse.

On Saturday, 11 June fire rescue teams confirmed that several homes in Silverboomkloof Road had been destroyed and two firefighters were hospitalised as the fire continued to rage. 

About 90 firefighters using 24 fire-fighting  appliances were still working tirelessly to contain the blaze, Carelse said, adding that there was hope that major inroads could be made as rain was expected during the course of the day.

Fire teams were dispatched late on Wednesday after receiving an emergency call that the Helderberg was alight.

Last week Jo-Ann Otto, of the Cape Winelands district municipality’s fire service, said additional ground teams consisting of 40 members had been sent after the fire spread to high inaccessible areas from where it moved into the Grootnek area, crossing into the Cape Winelands. 

She said the fire at the pine plantation on the Lourensford Estate was fuelled by mixed vegetation, unseasonably high temperatures and dry weather.

Otto said on Sunday fire crews had spent the day managing the fire line as it threatened the farms Mt Fleur on the left flank and Uva Mira vineyards on the right. She confirmed that the crews managed to fan the fire, protecting the farms.

Officials did not respond, by the time of writing, to queries on Monday about the number of houses and farms affected by the fire.

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