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Overstrand blaze flares up amid calls for crackdown on fire starters

More than 5 000 hectares of vegetation have been destroyed by the fires linked to a flare shot on New Year's Eve in the Overstrand area.

On Thursday, all fire lines were provisionally contained, but three fires have since flared up in Gansbaai, Betty's Bay and Karwyderskraal.

Overberg fire chief Reinhard Geldenhuys says strong winds are making it difficult to control the flare-ups.

He says an immediate evacuation order has been issued for the Franskraal area as a safety precaution.

Read: Betty's Bay fire stretches over 5 000 hectares

The acting mayor of the Overstrand municipality, Elnora Gillion says the council will investigate the possibility of hiking fines for starting fires in the area illegally.

As the council, we will decide on stricter fines.

Elnora Gillion, acting mayor at Overstrand Municipality

A successful prosecution for arson-related cases is not easy to achieve, says councillor Gillion.

Fireworks are completely banned throughout the entire Overstrand area.

Elnora Gillion, acting mayor at Overstrand Municipality

Read more: Man accused of starting fatal Overstrand fire appears in court

Shelton April, the man accused of starting the deadly fire two weeks ago, will make his second court appearance on Monday. He has not yet applied for bail.

Listen to the discussion on The Pippa Hudson Show:


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Although there are currently no active fire lines, fire teams will remain on standby for at least 48 hours to monitor any changes.

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34-year-old Shelton April appeared in the Caledon Magistrates Court on Monday afternoon, reports EWN's Monique Mortlock.

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The blaze is thought to have started when someone set off a flare on New Year's eve, says Overstrand fire chief Lester Smith.

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