A fire raging in the Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch has continued to spread along the mountains and into the Blaauwklippen area, the Cape Winelands District Municipality said on Saturday morning.
This was despite overnight efforts by a crew of 236 firefighters with 24 vehicles to prevent the fire line from reaching properties and homes.
Two ground team members subcontracted by Cape Nature were injured and taken to hospital.
“The fire is being fuelled by a combination of dense, mixed vegetation and strong wind. The ground teams will be replaced by fresh teams this morning,” it said in an update.
“Further planning includes the deployment of aerial resources to water bomb the higher peaks and hotspots.”
Water bombing would only be used when there was good visibility and little wind.
The municipality said there had been no loss of life, livelihoods or property, but a few residents from an informal settlement were relocated to a community hall in Cloetesville.
“This was not an evacuation, but rather a decision based in the best interest of the safety of the residents. The dense smoke and ash resulting from the fire is proving problematic for many.”
On Friday, Western Cape Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell advised the elderly, frail, young children, and those with comorbidities, such as asthma, to consider leaving the area until conditions improve.
“The total area that has been burned, including the Overberg side, is 8 250 hectares at lunchtime today [on Friday],” he said.