A fierce fire raging in the Overberg region on Wednesday, December 11 is now being brought under control after spreading through almost 14 000 hectares of vegetation and farm land. This devastating fire is estimated to have cost R50-million to contain thus far.

The fire began spreading across the region last Wednesday, and was allegedly started by two children in an act of “malicious ignition”. According to Overberg Municipality executive mayor, Andries Franken, children lighting fires in the hopes of seeing an air show has become an issue in recent years.

“We’ve appointed Enviro Wildfire to investigate this. Hopefully it will result in criminal proceedings,” Overberg fire chief Reinhard Geldenhuys told News24.

“There are three issues here – The damage to infrastructure, the cost, and the fact that it shouldn’t be done. These kids set this fire for no reason. We use the phrase ‘malicious ignition’ because it’s not arson, which is a technical thing on its own. Two children went into the nature reserve, set the fire and left. We’re going to bring them to book,” he added.

Speaking to Cape Talk, Franken explains that now the fire has been contained, and the area is in the process of recovery.

“We are still faced with challenges of high winds and very high temperatures, but things are looking up this morning. We are starting to contain it,” said Franken.

Luckily, no lives were lost, and EMS personnel worked speedily to help those affected by the fire. The Fire Protective Association (FDA), the Overberg District Municipality teams, Working on Fire and Cape Nature are all on the ground helping to alleviate the situation, with 100 to 120 people on the ground at any given time.

Franken has called on members of the public with any information about the fire to please contact 083 411 3378.

Picture: Facebook / Greater Overberg FPA

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