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Letter from Peter Berrisford to Dan Fick (BBRA Chairman). -Ed.

Dear Dan

Please pass the following comments on to your volunteer fire fighters.

“The day before yesterday (10th Feb), a hot day with a strongish N West wind blowing, a small fire started on the Southern edge of Bass Rd. The cause of the fire is unknown. It could have been started by a stompie OR, by broken glass acting as a magnifying glass. Within minutes, a fire report was made to Dan Fick. Within about 8 minutes the first volunteer arrived, Francois Olivier. He immediately opened the hydrant. Shortly thereafter four or five volunteers arrived with the small tender/tank and hoses. Volunteers then donned their fire resistant overalls, masks etc. rolled out the hoses, connected up and then water was being directed on to the rapidly spreading flames.

Meanwhile the Municipal emergency numbers had been called. Thereafter a number of Municipal fire tenders arrived from Kleinmond. They deployed their much more substantial hoses and tackled the fire in a most professional way. Within about 20 minutes the fire had spread (you said it) like wildfire. It extended about 200m downwind and about 40m in towards the sea. A very active fire with large flames licking into the fynbos and keurbooms. Luckily the hoses were long enough, the firefighters were professional enough and the fire was successfully subdued, contained and eventually total extinguished after a couple of hours. At one stage our Chairman of the Ratepayers Dan, himself was bravely fighting the greedy flames.

A Municipal tender stayed for some hours after all flames had been doused. They continued to damp down the area to prevent re-ignition.

The burnt out area exposed quite a collection of broken glass and bottles which we are cleaning up.

The reason I am circulating this to the members of the Bass Rd neighbourhood watch group is to alert everyone to the fact that almost every property has excessive vegetation which, from my observation of this recent fire, is extremely vulnerable to fires.

Its an on-going challenge to reduce vegetation levels for all of us. This fire was a wake up call. It could so easily have got out of control. Houses were directly down wind.

We owe grateful thanks to both the volunteers and the Municipal fire fighters for averting a disaster.”

Dan, perhaps this is worth being put in the Buzz and circulated by the Tourism Assn who might get it published in the local papers? Also advise the Municipality of our gratitude and appreciation.