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Arson suspected in Cape Winelands blaze

By News24
22 Nov 2016 0

Cape Town - Arson is suspected to be the cause of a four-day blaze which ripped through the Cape Winelands, fire and rescue services said on Tuesday.

This is being investigated after the fire resulted in an estimated 1 600 hectares of vegetation burning.

Incident commander Heinrich Louw said mop-up operations were underway and no flare-ups, fatalities, or property damage, had been reported overnight.

“The fire is about 85% contained and one active line is still burning, high up on the Groot Drakenstein Mountain,” he told News24.

Monitoring and mop-up operations would continue throughout the day.

In the early hours of Monday, firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to the Ole Gustro Farm in the Jonkershoek Valley. The blaze escalated between Sunday night and Monday morning due to strong winds.

Over 120 firefighters from Cape Nature, Working on Fire, Cape Winelands firefighters, and contractors, battled the blaze.

On Sunday, the fire was contained during the morning, but with a change of the wind at 15:00, it moved in different directions.

One part had spread further into the Kloof Valley and jumped the river towards the Klein Drakenstein mountain range. It also spread into the Hells Hoogte Pass area.

#BanhoekFire (Day 3)
Close to 100 WOF firefighters committed to #SavingLives & #ProtectingTheEnvironment IC Update https://t.co/tIn6Y2nNb4 pic.twitter.com/qj2gyM17aT— Working on Fire (@wo_fire) November 22, 2016

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