A fire that started yesterday at midday, in the Bainskloof Pass (the mountain pass on the R301 between Wellington and Ceres) in the Western Cape, is still being fanned by strong winds and continues to burn out of control. Cape Winelands DM, Cape Nature, Working on Fire (WOF), Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) and the Red Ants were deployed yesterday to protect property and secure the area.
Rescue crews worked through the night but were unable to contain the fire.
WOF updated their website this afternoon saying: “According to the Cape Winelands Incident Commander: most of our resources has been moved to Elandsberg as that is the danger area. Parts of the fire is still inaccessible for groundteams and vehicles due to the rocky and uneven terrain. The wind is pushing the fire in a northerly direction up the mountain. The fire is still out of control at this point in time and fire fighting operations will continue.”
Yesterday the fire spread quickly due to the extreme weather conditions despite the valiant effort of the fire teams. Fire crews were unable to contain the fire as it came down at Arc n Ciel and Kranskop and sections of Orchards and olive groves were damaged. Officials said they were unable to use aerial support due to the prevailing gusting winds conditions. Additional ground teams were deployed to try and contain the fire. There were no reported injuries.
Photography: Justin Sullivan