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Overberg fire update and the science behind how fire moves explained

29 January 2019 10:47 AM
Tags:
Grabouw
Cape Overberg
Overberg Fire and Disaster Management
Overberg fire
Groenlandberg
It's day five of a continuous battle against the Overberg fires. Forensic investigator David Klatzow explains how fire moves.

Firefighters are still battling the fire in Overberg between Houwhoek and Grabouw in the Groenlandberg mountain.

The fire has been raging since Thursday, which makes it day 5 of the continuous fight.

Overberg District Municipality's fire officer and disaster manager, Reinhard Geldenhuys says they managed to extinguish most active lines and are currently monitoring any flare-ups.

Read: Cape Town mountain blazes under control, firefighters to monitor flare-ups

Yesterday we managed to hold it. We flew for about five hours. There were several flare-ups and this morning it's looking much better although there are several warm areas along the N2 - but we are monitoring it.

Reinhard Geldenhuys, Overberg District Municipality fire officer and disaster manager

So today's tactics will be pretty much that same, consolidating what we did yesterday, ensuring the integrity of the N2 and protecting the farms that could be in trouble.

Reinhard Geldenhuys, Overberg District Municipality fire officer and disaster manager

We have 80% containment but we are very cautious because it is still hot and dry.

Reinhard Geldenhuys, Overberg District Municipality fire officer and disaster manager

Forensic investigator, Dr David Klatzow explains the chemistry in how fire moves, particularly the wild veld fires that have been recently experienced in the Cape.

In the converted air currents, the hot air that comes into the fire from the bottom and gets heated up like a hot air balloon. It takes pieces of burning material and carries up with it to the prevailing air stream.

Dr David Klatzow, forensic scientist

That burning material sometimes gets carried 300 - 500m ahead of the fire line and it gets deposited elsewhere as the turbulence allows it to fall out of circulation and you get a new fire starting 2 -3 yards ahead of the fire line and the distance can be as great as 2km, particularly in big fires.

Dr David Klatzow, forensic scientist

To hear the rest of the conversations, listen below:


29 January 2019 10:47 AM
Tags:
Grabouw
Cape Overberg
Overberg Fire and Disaster Management
Overberg fire
Groenlandberg

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