Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Franschhoek blaze ‘backburn’ tactic underway to protect town

Solms Delta, Franschhoek, 06 February 2016jbdodane via flickr

Firefighters in the Franschhoek mountains have changed their strategy to keep the fire away from the town because of changed winds by doing a "backburn" from the Franschhoek Pass to the fire, the Cape Winelands District Municipality said on Thursday night.

“The pass will serve as a firebreak while helicopters and other vehicles will create a wet line to prevent the backburn from burning out of control. The Franschhoek Pass will be closed until further notice,” the municipality said.

This was after the Cape Winelands District Municipality’s fire services and its partners, the Winelands Fire Protection Association and CapeNature, changed their approach as a result of a South Easter whipping through the area and the flames encroaching on the town. According to the fire service’s Facebook notice, this tactic worked in 2010 when a fire with similar conditions burnt in the area which is associated with wines and literary festivals.

The fire has already destroyed 5 472ha of veld in 96 hours, but 169 staffers and 25 fire brigade vehicles have been working to put it out.

Fire services asked that people not enter the affected areas, but also thanked the community of Franschhoek for the food, water, equipment and manpower it has offered.

Some of the crews had to hike in with their supplies and firefighters had to stop the fire from jumping to farmland and crops.

Some people were also evacuated as a precaution due to the smoke. DM

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options