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EMERGENCY CALL 028 313 8111 or 028 312 2400


WESTERN CAPE FYNBOS favours fire and ignites ferociously, so we all need to take preventative measures to ensure that an afternoon braai celebration does not turn into a disastrous runaway wild fire. It will consume everything in its path with heated passion and possibly leaving devastating consequences.

Vital Resources During a Fire — Live information

  • Fire/Emergency Support Services – Jorika Rabie – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – 072 616 8418
  • Satellite images of fires:
    CSIR Advanced Fire Information Systemhttp://southernafrica.afis.co.za/
    NASA Web Fire MapperNASA FIRMS (Do not worry about the security warning. You can trust this page. Allow it to proceed.)
  • VWS — Volunteer Wildfire Services:
    Follow them on Twitter for very useful live news — https://twitter.com/vwsfires
  • Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association:
    Also follow them on Twitter — https://twitter.com/OverbergFPA

Although I am not a fire specialist, but rather a Senior Architectural Technologist and Designer and a Heritage Specialist, the recent fires in our region have prompted me to start researching ways in which we can reduce the risks that fires pose.

“Please read and take action!” warned the Fire Chief.

Riaan Jacobs—Overstrand Fire Chief (at the time of publication) warned: “Please read and take action!”, after the devastating fire in May, 2008, “Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay and Rooi Els are rated as being at extreme risk in the firewise risk assessment. The Overstrand Municipality Fire Department consists mainly of volunteer fire fighters, so you can see that it is vital that the municipality, property owners and fire fighters work together to reduce the fire risk. Fire prevention is a far better option than fire fighting!

Note: While the risk of fire has by no means diminished, names and contact numbers of fire personnel change over time. Residents should, therefore, at all times acquaint themselves with the latest details for use in case of emergencies.

(Get this FireWise article as a PDF file.)

Betty's Bay Volunteer Fire Fighters

A subsidiary of Bettys Bay Ratepayers Association

The Bettys Bay Volunteer Fire Fighters, as their name implies, is served by members of their organisation who are passionate about this form of community involvement by giving of their time in acting as a first response to fires in our area and thereafter if needed will back up other fire fighting organisations operating in our area.

Reducing Fire Hazard — Clarification of Regulations

In an effort to reduce the fire hazard in the area, and in accordance with section 34 (2) of the Standard By-Law relating to Community Fire Safety, as published per Provincial Notice No. 342/2006 dated 27 October 2005, the Municipality is requiring owners to take steps to ensure that they reduce the fire hazards on their properties.

This requires that owners:
  • remove any dead brushwood and dead trees on their property;
  • focus particular attention to reducing the hazard posed by old, woody blombos (Metalasia Muricata);
  • all alien invasives must be removed and stumps treated with herbicide. These plants carry a highly hazardous fireload, (Rooikrans/Acacia Cyclops, Port Jackson/Acacia Saligna, Gums/Eucalyptus sp. and Pines/Pincus sp.)

Important Information


  • NEVER light an outdoor fire when the weather is hot and dry and/or windy.
  • ALWAYS have a garden hose connected and readily available to use when holding a braai.
  • NEVER leave the fire unattended.
  • Extinguish your braai fire COMPLETELY after use.
  • Do not discard coals in the bushes.

If a wild fire should sweep through the village and threaten your existence/ family and home, there are a few objectives that you may wish to consider in order to act proactively to avoid complete loss and/or injury. Loss of property through fire in Betty’s Bay is mainly through broken windows caused by flying debris from fire generated wild winds. External window shutters or mosquito gauze frames help minimize such flare ups to ignite within.

  • Firstly, switch off your electricity at the main trip switch;
  • Disconnect gas bottles and place them in the centre of a cleared location i.e. centre of lawn;
  • Close all windows and doors, seal drafts with wet towels;
  • Fill your bath and basins with water;
  • Open curtains and leave linen or paper roller blinds rolled up;
  • Have buckets of water on standby at high risk zones;
  • If a member of your family is outside using the garden hose to irrigate potentially high risk zones, they must remain outside, as a house door opening may ignite a potentially hazardous ember due to the increased draught created by such action;
  • DO NOT open your door for anyone unless it is for complete evacuation or rescue - use the thumbs up signal for containment;
  • Monitor signs such as intruding smoke to determine hot-spots... douse such zones with water;
  • Avoid throwing cold water on unbroken heated glass panes.


During the recent run away fires which were experienced in Bettys Bay many residents came to the fore in providing refreshments to the gallant fire fighters battling the blaze. As you can appreciate the work of these firefighters is exhausting over such a long period of time and they require sustenance and drinks during breaks to keep them going.

It has been an exhausting 4 days with crew running on 24 hour shifts, and due to limited resources, we were unable to post regular updates, but we are glad to announce that we have contained the fire and are in monitoring stages.

Thank you all for your kind and generous support! The offers of support and assistance have been overwhelming, and we are indeed very grateful.

Should you wish to assist us with other much needed operational costs, such as fuel, vehicles, uniforms, firefighting equipment, then please consider making a donation!

Betty’s Bay Rate Payers Association
ABSA Bank Hermanus
Branch code: 632005
Account number: 4066616439
Reference: Name & BBVCFF

A fire has been raging for hours in Davidskraal. There are at least two helicopters on a loop, scooping sea water and dumping it onto the flames. I saw a small yellow airplane that dumped some kind of liquid and sped-off to go refill. I think it said "Fire bomber" on the side of the fuselage. There's also another small plane flying in constant circles up high; I surmise it's spotting for the helicopters and they're in contact by radio. (Anyone know where these planes land?)