Kalk Bay has close call with ‘hectic’ fire

A fire broke out on the slopes of Trappieskop in Kalk Bay, on Monday February 12.

Four water-bombing helicopters, 10 fire trucks and more than 40 firefighters were deployed on Monday to stop a fire on Trappieskop in Kalk Bay.

The blaze, which was reported at about 2.20pm, spread towards St James and across Boyes Drive.

Boyes Drive and Old Boyes Drive, Kalk Bay Main Road and Clairvaux Road were closed to traffic, leading to afternoon peak-hour traffic congestion on Ou Kaapseweg.

The fire was largely contained by 8pm, but firefighting efforts continued through the night, according to the City.

The battle to contain the blaze saw a coordinated response from various firefighting agencies, including Table Mountain National Park, Working on Fire (WoF), the City’s Fire and Rescue Service, NCC Environmental Services, and Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS).

City Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse said one home was damaged, but no occupants had been present at the time.

Evacuation measures had not been necessary as firefighting crews had strategically positioned themselves to protect residential areas, Mr Carelse said.

A South African National Parks (SANParks) statement noted the fire was driven by unusually hot winds, resulting in downhill movement, which is abnormal for fires.

Enviro Wildfire Services would investigate the fire’s origin, but access to the site had been hampered by intense heat, the statement said.

Kalk Bay resident Daniel Hartford described the scene as “hectic” and said he had seen a house engulfed in flames.

“From my perspective, it was bad. The fire was very close, right along the fire break. We were fortunate because of the wind direction, which seemed to be blowing the fire past us.“

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The fire above Kalk Bay seen from Main Road on Monday February 12
Thick smoke was visible when driving into Kalk Bay from Fish Hoek.