Watch: Haunting video captured after Jonkershoek fire finally contained

Fire fighter battling fires that have ravaged Jonkershoek and Franschhoek mountains in the Western Cape for over a week have made significant progress in their efforts to quell the blaze, with the fires now largely contained. 

The fires began in the Overberg area and moved rapidly across the mountain ranges. Strong winds, high temperatures and the altitude of the flames made the task of containing the fire extremely difficult for various crews who worked tirelessly – day and night – to ensure that the fire was ultimately brought under control

Watch: Aftermath of Jonkershoek fire

Photographer Ewald Sadie from SHIFT Media was able to capture haunting footage of the fire’s devastating aftermath using drone footage. The video posted to his YouTube channel demonstrates the impact of the colossal blaze on the Jonkershoek area, with nearly 14 000 hectares of land scorched in the blaze overall. 

Blaze ‘largely contained’  

Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Fire Services spokesperson Jo Ann Otto said on Monday morning that fire teams have made “excellent progress” toward containing the fire in the areas above Stellenbosch. 

“The fire is not fully contained as there are still a few active fire lines in the inaccessible kloof of Banhoek,” she noted, with the high altitude flames having proved inaccessible to fire crews, who decided to allow the fire to burn itself out at these altitudes. 

“The fire fighting and ground teams managed to contain most of the active fire lines in the Jonkershoek Valley during yesterday and last night’s activities. The incident command reported that the wind did not pick up in the late evening, as was predicted, which in turn allowed them to troop a few teams into the higher peaks.”   

She said that ground teams spent the night focussing their efforts on the accessible fire lines and continued with mopping-up operations. “All staff continued working through the night and will be replaced by fresh teams this morning,” she said. 

Crews to manage hotspot areas on Monday  

Otto said that the fire teams will spend Monday focussing on hotspots, managing flare-ups and on-going mopping up operations.  She said that there has been no of loss of life, livelihood, or damage to property.

“The good progress made over the last 24-hours has enabled many of the teams and other resources that came from the Overberg and West Coast District Municipalities, Provincial Disaster Management and the SANDF to return to their stations.  The CWDM extend our appreciation to all who assisted.”


Presh JM Reporter

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