A fire broke out the lower part of the Donkerkloof, part of the Du Toit’s Kloof Pass on Tuesday afternoon [December 5]. According to the Drakenstein Farm Watch (DFW), two people were found fleeing the scene when emergency responders arrived.
In a Facebook post, DFW explained that they received reports and pictures from member farmers regarding a startup fire in the lower part of the Donkerkloof.
“As a fire jump could be expected from that spot into a not yet burned part of the mountain and surrounding farming areas, the DFW fire commander send a 4×4 fast response truck and a cruiser and asked Paarl fire and Cape Winelands fire, to assist,” the organisation wrote on Facebook.
“Upon arrival, the DFW crew saw two people run towards their car and leave. Following the same path up, to the flames, the crew discovered the origin of the fire. A small shrine with still burning candles and smouldering herbs were found and showed it as the spot where the surroundings caught alight, causing the chain event.”
Fire crews immediately jumped to action and contained the flames.
A similar incident occurred in February 2020, when worshippers set herbs and candles alight in the Cape Nature fynbos reserve which led to a firestorm in the Du Toit’s Kloof Pass.
DFW explain that there has been no firm action taken against the lighting of candles or ceremonial fires in these nature reserves. Incidents like this place pressure on the DFW budget.
“Where we see police and local authorities spend massive amounts and manpower to correct its citizens even on the beach, we would kindly again request an attention shift to our precious mountain and Cape nature reserve areas and vulnerable farming areas” they add.
“The deployment of resources and manpower by the various fire fighting entities is costing the taxpayer and DFW members and sponsors dearly and we are sure these resources could be spend more wise.”
Picture: Facebook/Drakenstein Farm Watch