Between 17:30 and 19:00 last night the heavens opened up much to the pleasure of the residents and fire fighters of the Overstrand region. This, coupled with the decrease in wind speeds, assisted the fire fighting efforts in controlling the flames.
There was a gusting north-west wind which drove the fire across Betty’s Bay and into the residential area on several fronts. Two more fires from the Karwyderskraal area were quickly pushed into the Hemel-en-Aarde valley, and over the mountain down towards the Northcliff area of Hermanus.
There was a total number of 102 employees deployed with the goal of preventing loss of life and protection of structures.
The Overstrand Municipality and Hermanus CPF report that although the blaze is under control, several structures have been damaged and will give substantial feedback on this next week.
The CPF also pleads that the public refrain from ‘sight seeing’ along Karwyderskraal and Hemel-en-Aarde as officials are busy with mop up operations and the roads been to be kept clear for emergency vehicles.
The fire is still on going and so a full report will be compiled to be released as soon as all the necessary information has been confirmed.
The fire fighters are still working on keeping the fire under control in the presence of increased winds. Any help in the form of ice, water, energy drinks, sweets, chocolates and energy bars would be much appreciated.
Donations can be made at either the fire station or Hermanuspietersfontein wine cellar. No more sandwiches are needed at this time.
Hermanus CPF please asks that you use 10111 to reach the SAPS Hermanus station, the landline is down due to the power failure. If you have difficulty getting through, call shift Commander Captain Du Toit on 0723242519.
The power is expected to be restored by this evening in the later shift. If it is not however, a contact number will be provided.
Overstrand Municipality can confirm that the fire has been partially contained with several high risk areas that threaten neigbourhoods, farm lands and conservation areas.
Overstrand Fire Chief, Lester Smiths says there are currently still three active fires in the Overstrand area.
In Betty’s Bay fire-fighting and mop-up operations are still in progress and will continue for several days. Still active fire lines and poses a risks for this area.
The Karwyderskraal fire continues to burn with a risk of there being flare-ups. Ground crews were deployed early this morning. Active fire-fighting will continue on these fire lines, where there is still risk for the area.
In the Hermanus heights area there are still creeping fire lines next to Madron farm and Bon adea farm towards the municipal farms. Currently the main risk is an easterly spread into Fernkloof into old veld and so a westerly spread towards Glen Fruin. Multiple ground crews are working on this line to keep it safe, according to Smith.
In Franskraal the fire burned above the R43 into the mountains and extended high up into the Mountain between Msakhane and Blue Horizon. Fire fighters did not stop throughout the night. There were fresh resources deployed early this morning, with aerial support also commencing to ensure that the fire is completely contained and deemed safe.
For any emergencies please call the Emergency Call Centre on either 0283122400, 0283138000 or 0283138996.
Eskom power lines were damaged as a result of the fire and most areas in Overstrand are without electricity.
Many Eskom technicians worked hard through the night to restore power to the affected regions, but were unsuccessful.
They are still on the scene and are trying to find a solution to the problem as soon as possible.
According to Eskom, electricity supply should be restored between 16:00 and 18:00 this evening. For more information please contact Eskom directly on 0860 037 566.
Currently all roads have been reopened, however traffic officials will be on the scene to monitor any developments.
The traffic officials appeal to the public not to go sight seeing today while the mop up operations take place.
Those who do not need to be on the roads please stay off them to keep roads clear for emergency vehicles who must get right of way at all times.