Stay Clear Of Somerset West Dangerous Areas, Firefighter Warns


The SA fire fighters warns against any encroachment to the areas near the Somerset West vegetation as fire outbreaks in the area deepens.

Giving further details on the fire outbreak which began on Tuesday morning, Robert van Wyk, a nature conservationist for the City of Cape Town warned members of the public to avoid the Somerset West area if possible because wildfires, which are burning for the second consecutive day, have made it dangerous.

“For the public, I’d advise them to stay away from these areas because it’s very dangerous… It’s very, very unsafe,” he said as helicopters taking water to the fire-gutted area, had been withdrawn due to the high winds and turbulence near the mountains.

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City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Theo Lane also revealed that the temperature in the area is expected to soar to 34°C on Wednesday even as the wind is expected to pick up again.

Meanwhile, van Wyk said on Wednesday that smoke from the fire was making visibility in the area poor and that firefighters had turned their focus to the Vergelegen area, as flames spread there.

People are therefore urged not to stop on the side of the roads, particularly the N2, to watch the fire, because the emergency vehicles were moving through the area so quickly and needed the route to be as clear as possible.

More than 100 firefighters had reportedly, worked through the night to control the blazes burning all round Helderberg mountains near Somerset West.

The firefighters were assisted by three helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft which were taking water to the areas difficult to reach by foot.

Fires were located mainly around the Bezweni Lodge, Knorhoek, the Vergelegen Farm and McGregor Farm.

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Layne however, urged people to continue to drop donations of water and cool drinks (individual sizes if possible), snack bars and eye drops at Strand Fire Department – or at the Somerset West Neighbourhood Watch Communication Centre at 153 Main Road.