Lester Smith, Chief Fire Officer responds on fires in the Overstrand from Saturday, 28 February until Sunday, 08 March 2015. Overstrand Fire and Rescue Services attended to 29 incidents from Friday, 27 February up and till Sunday, 08 March 2015. We are currently experiencing favourable climate for runaway fires and therefore we urge the community to be extra careful with open fires. We had major fires in Hawston, Bettiesbay, Pringlebay, Voggelvalley, Platbos and Heidehof, some of which Aerial support was requested as well as additional resources from other municipalities and agencies.
Platbos Fire, Grootbos (3-5 March): Overstrand Fire and Rescue received a call that a fire was burning at Flower Valley Farm R43. Upon arrival the fire was at Platbos Farm in the Grootbos area and additional resources was requested. This fire also caused a lot of spot fires and jumped several firebreaks due to strong winds present and minimal resources due to other Incidents which were ongoing. Overstrand Fire Services and Farm owners continued to fight the fire throughout the night and managed to contain the fire during the early morning hours of Wednesday.
Heidehof Fire, Pearly Beach (3-8 March): Upon arrival the fire was at Heidehof Pearly Beach area, additional resources was requested. A Working on Fire team from KwaZulu-Natal was also on scene to help with this fire. The fire was out of control and our main objective was to ensure that no life and property are lost. Firefighters worked throughout the night but were unable to contain the fire. On Wednesday the fire was spreading towards Baardskeerdersbos and was still out of control. Fire crew of Overstrand Municipality and Overberg Districts Municipality as well as landowners and Working on Fire ground crew was on scene fighting the fire and trying to contain it. On Thursday the fire was spreading towards Pearly Beach. Aerial support was also requested and therefore activated to help fire and ground crew to contain the fire from spreading towards Pearly Beach. The Fire was contained and mop up operations immediately started on all hotspots throughout the night. A flare-up was reported later the afternoon on the Baardskeerdesbos side of the mountain and aerial support was requested, the fire was contained an hour later.