Strong winds blamed for Jonkershoel Valley wildfire

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Officials say the wildfire at the Jonkershoek Valley, in the Winelands District, continues to spread along the mountain peaks in the Blaauwklippen area. The fire is being fanned by strong winds.

Hot weather and dense vegetation are also allowing the fire to move fast.

Two firefighters were injured overnight and nearby communities have been warned to remain alert in case authorities call for an evacuation.

A spokesperson for the Western Cape Department of Local Government, James Brent Styan says the fire has been raging for five days now.

“The conditions are very bad, very strong winds and temperatures which are hampering the efforts and poor visibility. There’s lots of smoke and ash in the area. If the visibility is so poor and wind so strong, we can’t rely as much as we’d like on the aerial support, as would like to.”

Earlier Cape Winelands District Municipality spokesperson, Jo-Anne Otto, said despite a crew of 236 firefighters, assisted by 24 firefighting vehicles, the fire has continued to spread through Jonkershoek and along the mountain peaks into the Blaauwklippen area.

Otto said aerial resources will be deployed to waterbomb the hotspots, once conditions allow for it.