Authorities have revealed that the fire that has been raging in the vicinity of Greyton in the Overberg area of the Western Cape for the past week was started by two children in an act of “malicious ignition.”
Enviro Wildfire has been appointed to carry out an investigation, which may result in criminal proceedings.
Overberg fire chief Reinhard Geldenhuys said: “There are three issues here: The damage to infrastructure, the cost, and the fact that it shouldn’t be done. These kids set this fire for no reason. We use the phrase ‘malicious ignition’ because it’s not arson, which is a technical thing on its own. Two children went into the nature reserve, set the fire and left. We’re going to bring them to book.”
Between 50 and 100 firefighters have been on the ground fighting the blaze at any given time.
Geldenhuys said by Tuesday night, fire fighters had managed to contain all lines around Greyton and the houses, however there are two active lines on the western and eastern side.
The extent of the damage caused by the fire has not yet been determined.
“But we haven’t even started quantifying the damage to the orchards and vineyards, and of course the cost of the firefighting,” said Geldenhuys.