WC Water and Fires Update – Blackhawk welcomed
25 February 2019
Statement by Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell.
Firefighting capability in the Western Cape got a boost over the weekend when Working on Fire’s aerial support fleet was bolstered by the arrival of a Blackhawk firefighting helicopter.
“This is an incredible and very welcome addition to the existing aerial capacity we have in the province. The Blackhawk was deployed to the Franschhoek fires over the weekend upon its arrival in our province and it made an immediate impact”, says Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape.
Bredell states that the Blackhawk helicopter, which is owned and operated by Leading Edge Aviation, carries a water bucket (also known as a Bambi bucket) with a 3000 litre capacity.
“The Huey helicopters have a 1000l capacity. In addition, the Blackhawk is simply a faster helicopter with better all-weather capability. The helicopter will be in the Western Cape till the end of the current fire season where it will be based in Stellenbosch.”
The Franschhoek fires were contained over the weekend thanks to the incredible efforts by all the partners and firefighters active in the region. The majority of firefighters have returned to their bases with a smaller crew remaining in the area to continue to monitor any potential flare-ups.
The average dam level in the Western Cape is currently 41.9% (2018: 21.3%). Dams that supply the City of Cape Town with water have an average level of 54% (2018: 23.7%). The Theewaterskloof dam is currently at 41.8% (2018: 10.8%); Voëlvlei Dam is at 67% (2018: 16%), Berg River dam is at 75% (2018: 51%) and Clanwilliam Dam is 37.4% (2018: 9.7%).
Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell
Mobile: 084 583 1670
Telephone: 021 483 2820