Firefighters try to put out a field fire.
PHOTO: Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Die Burger
- A fire has broken out in the Witzenberg valley.
- The fire threatens farmland.
- More than 60 firefighters fight the fire.
Firefighters worked through the night to try to contain a bushfire in the Witzenberg Valley in the Western Cape.
The fire was still raging Tuesday morning and Cape Winelands council spokesman Jo-Anne Otto said it was burning beyond the Gydo Pass above the Witzenberg Valley.
“The fire is currently burning at the top of the mountain. However, due to the wind direction, it has been driven into an area with a high fuel load and threatens to move towards farmland,” said Otto.
“The harvest season is in full swing in the Witzenberg valley and we will do everything we can to protect the agricultural lands.”
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She said firefighters had been dispatched to the area and would receive air support during the day.
Choppers Whiskey and Tango from Henley Air are activated, as well as the Black Hawk and another Huey from the Provincial Disaster Management Center. The teams are supported by six firefighting vehicles, bringing the total number of personnel to 62.
The Western Cape is in the midst of fire season, which occurs during the hot, dry and windy summer months, and averages between 17,000 and 20,000 fires per year.
The Winelands have seen several fires this season, including a mountain fire above Boontjieskraal Road outside Wolseley and a mountain fire above the R46 between Wolseley and Ceres, both of which occurred earlier this month.
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