WATCH | 31 homes destroyed, 28 damaged, as Overberg counts cost of massive fires

12 January 2019 - 08:12
By Dave Chambers

Thirty-one homes were destroyed and 28 damaged by three wildfires that raged across the Overberg in the Western Cape on Friday.

#BettysBayFire 11/01/19: There were 3 large runaway fires in the Overberg yesterday afternoon as gusting winds close to...

Posted by Sullivan Photography on Friday, 11 January 2019

Heavy evening rain assisted firefighters, who were able to start counting the cost during the night. 

By Saturday morning they were able to report that more than 12,800 hectares of vegetation had been destroyed. No injuries were reported.

"The overnight rain has allowed for rapid cooling of the burn area," said Theo Layne of the City of Cape Town fire and rescue service, which sent firefighters to assist.

"A final inspection of all residential properties to ensure that every person was evacuated was done through the night.

"A full impact study will carried out to determine how much of the rare and endangered species of flora has been affected.

"Crews will remain on scene for some considerable time to ensure that the fire is completely extinguished."

On Friday afternoon, homes were evacuated in Franskraal, near Gansbaai; in Hermanus suburbs including Fernkloof, Eastcliff and Hermanus Heights; and in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley. Other houses burnt down were in Betty's Bay.

Flames fuelled by winds gusting up to 94km/h towered over houses as they devoured the urban edge.