As fires rage in Somerset West, social media has also been set-alight with users offering help to assist with evacuations, move animals out of the area, drop off donations and help in any way.

 

People and animals in Somerset West are being evacuated after wildfires damaged several homes in the area. Tessa van Leeuwen from the Drakenstein farm watch said all the horses were evacuated in Sir Lowry’s park.

“We have been evacuating a lot of horses, a lot of cows and a lot of sheep,” she said.

Fires have been raging in Somerset West since Tuesday morning and by Tuesday afternoon the fires were believed to be under control, but afternoon winds fuelled the blaze.

The worst fire broke out near the four-star Bezweni Lodge in Sir Lowry’s Pass‚ where eight fire-engines and helicopters were called in to battle the flames.

“Firefighting efforts are currently being hampered by a very strong south-easterly wind and mountainous terrain‚” said City of Cape Town fire and rescue department spokesman Theo Layne.

Seventy firefighters were being assisted by Working on Fire staff, employees of Overberg Municipality and volunteers.

The N2 has also been closed for all incoming and outgoing traffic.

Trevor Wyborn from the Wilderness Search and Rescue said that the neighbourhood watch groups of Strand and Somerset West have been activated to assist with evacuations in the region.

“It is not an open call for people to come. We don’t want anybody with a 4×4 to come drive on the mountain, we have more than enough people here,” Wyborn told News24 from the petrol station in Somerset West where volunteers were gathering.

According to Wyborn, roughly 20 volunteer vehicles have been dispatched to the area and as the sun rises this morning, we await for confirmed reports on the number of properties damaged and help still needed.

Donation drop off points for water, cool-drinks, snack bars, non perishable foods,  and eye drops etc

  • 153 Main Road – Somerset West NW (call 021 840 0009 if you can not find the office)
  • Strand fire station
  • NG church opposition Hathersage – Gordon Road

FireWives are also making sandwiches for all firefighters and volunteers. Any and all sandwich donations requested to be delivered to NEG Church Beach Road or phone Edwina for more info – 0823849699

Justin Sullivan was on site last night documenting the blaze.

The talented photographer has been exploring photography in the greater Cape Town region for the past 2 years, broadening his expertise in Documentary Photography – specialising in Cape Wild Fires.

Here are some tragic photos he took during the blaze last night:

somerset-west-fires-1 somerset-west-fires-2 somerset-west-fires-3 somerset-west-fires-4 somerset-west-fires-6 somerset-west-fires-7 somerset-west-fires-8 somerset-west-fires-9 somerset-west-fires-10


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Sources: Sullivan Photography | News24 | Facebook

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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