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By Shanice Naidoo

Digital Journalist


Off-duty firefighters called in to help battle blaze in Simon’s Town

Residents of Stonehaven and Scarborough were evacuated on Thursday night.


Firefighters in Cape Town have been battling to extinguish the fires that have been sweeping through Simon’s Town since Tuesday.

They were faced with another challenge on Thursday night as a second fire broke out in Glencairn, a seaside village north of Simon’s Town.

“Crews were faced with extremely challenging conditions overnight, dealing with both the Simon’s Town and Glencairn fires.

“The wind picked up considerably and the Simon’s Town fire spread over the mountain and is now above Misty Cliffs and Scarborough. At the same time, the vegetation fire that was reported along the Glencairn expressway quickly gained momentum and was heading towards the Stonehaven and Evergreen Estates,” said City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue spokesperson Jermaine Carelse on Friday afternoon.

Some respite

Carelse said by Friday morning there had been some respite from the wind, and they are hoping the reprieve lasts, “although the wind does tend to pick up as the day progresses”.

“We still have six aerial support craft doing water bombing in the affected areas, to support the tireless efforts of ground crews.”

Drones were deployed to guide crews on the ground. Off-duty firefighters and those from neighbouring areas were also called in to help.

“An executive decision was made that off-duty staff should report to Goodwood Fire Station to be deployed to the incidents, and the City also activated its agreement with neighbouring municipalities, securing assistance from the Stellenbosch, Drakenstein, Cape Winelands, Overstrand and West Coast fire services,” he said.

On Friday morning, six aerial support craft took to the skies to waterbomb the fire lines at Scarborough and Glencairn.

ALSO READ: Blaze rages on in Simon’s Town as wind makes it difficult to fight the fire

The Glencairn fire resulted in residents of Stonehaven and Scarborough being evacuated on Thursday night.

Evacuations

“A call was made at 8:50pm that residents of Stonehaven Estate should be relocated. The Glencairn Expressway is closed to traffic between Kommetjie Road and Simon’s Town Main Road. Although the battle continues, we are confident that a combined effort will yield success,” said Carelse.

The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre (DRMC) facilitated the evacuation of 96 households in Stonehaven.

Meanwhile in Simon’s Town, DRMC staff evacuated the Good Hope Gardens Nursery, along Plateau Road, on Friday.

Fifteen people were relocated from the property. DRMC also contacted the SPCA to assist with the evacuation and sheltering of livestock on the property.

ALSO READ: Fire still raging around Simon’s Town, with 200 firefighters battling the blaze

On Friday, a large section of the south peninsula remained blanketed in smoke as the two fires continued to burn.

The DRMC has urged residents in these areas to keep their doors and windows closed to limit the smoke entering their homes.

“There have been no new evacuations since last night; however, we need residents to be mindful that the situation can change at any moment, and we therefore request those closest to the fire line areas to please be on alert,” said DRMC.

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