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Lester Smith, Chief Fire & Rescue and Disaster Management responds: "The Stanford fire started on Friday the 8th of January 2016. The cause is under investigation. The fire is extremely difficult to contain due to the fuel load, weather conditions and limited vehicle access to the fire through the thick bush. Overstrand Fire Department and Overberg District Municipality responded to the fire and was assisted by ground teams from Working on Fire, Cape Nature and Volunteer Wildfire Services.
With a strong South Easterly behind the fire it managed to spread over the R43, which had to be closed to traffic for brief periods. Fire fighting efforts were concentrated on the flanks of the fire to ensure it did not spread towards Gansbaai or Stanford while the fire advanced towards the ocean. Aerial resources were deployed on multiple occasions to protect houses, farms and infrastructure in the area. By the 5th day of the fire it entered the Walker Bay Nature Reserve where fire fighters are currently working to contain the fire in more favourable conditions.
The Stanford fire are currently still not under control, we still have 6 vehicles on scene from Overstrand Municipality with 12 crew, Cape Nature and two Working on Fire teams consis-ting of 36 members from Walker Bay busy with active fire fighting.
The Overstrand community has once again proved to be highly supportive and generous. Thank you to all those individuals and companies who have kept the fire fighting teams fed and hydrated and provided needed resources to the Fire department. A special thank you to the goFPA, the land-owners who made their resources available and the Stanford community for refreshments for the Stanford fire and other fires in the area. Donations can be delivered at the Fire Station in Hermanus.
OTHER FIRES IN AREA
On Monday 11 January 2016 while fighting the Stanford fire other fires was also reported and managed. Gansbaai was reported at 11h03 where 3 different places were set alight, our fire fighters manage to bring this fire under control within an hour. At 12h26 a fire was reported in Kleinmond but was also brought under control quickly. At 13h59 a fire was reported at Baardskeerdersbos where assistance was called in from Overberg District Municipality as well as aerial support was requested, no property was damaged. At 15h55 a fire was reported at Swartdam Weg Hermanus, fire was under control within an hour. A fire was reported at 21h54 in Hawston and was also brought under control within an hour."