A fire broke out in Barrydale nearly one week ago and quickly spread into the mountain fanned by strong winds. It was still burning on Sunday, January 31, and is yet to be contained.
Sadly, EPWP Firefighter Nelio van Rooy from Barrydale Station lost his life while fighting the blaze on Sunday.
Fire Chief Reinard Geldenhuys confirmed the sad news in a Facebook post, “Rug sad Nelio, one her dit van hier af..”
Two other firefighters are in hospital, one is there for observation and the other suffered second degree burns to his hands and arms.
The fire is currently burning in old veld producing lots of smoke and flames are visible at night. The current South Easterly wind predictions will keep on pushing it in a north westerly direction towards Barrydale (But still 10km away from the town itself) onto the more sparsely vegetated northern lower slopes.
In a statement, the Greater Overberg FPA Facebook page explained that although fire lines at the base of the fire could be contained, the mountain area was and still is inaccessible.
“Today, in strong pre-frontal conditions, a structure was destroyed and a firefighter lost his life. Resources remain on scene and contingency plans are being made for an expected wind change tomorrow,” the page added.
Picture: Facebook / Overberg District Municipality