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‘Replacing burnt vineyards will take years before delivering a harvest’

The blaze has caused widespread devastation to farmland since Tuesday.

The Hillcrest Berry Farm outside Stellenbosch suffered damage to its orchards overnight on 19 January 2016. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN
fire,Cape Winelands,Simonsberg fire,Simonsberg
Local

CAPE TOWN - A Simonsberg wine farmer says replacing lost vineyards will take years before delivering a harvest.

The blaze has caused widespread devastation to farmland since Tuesday.

It comes at a crucial time for wine farmers who are currently in their harvest season.

Some farmers affected by the massive Simonsberg fire are still battling to prevent it from ravaging their crops.

Others are assessing the damage.

The Thelema Wine Farm's Gyles Web says they’ve lost around R6 million worth of crops.

“It’s almost ready to be picked. In fact, one of the blocks that was severely damaged… we were about to pick on Wednesday and the fire came on Tuesday night.”

He says it will take six years before the replacement vineyards deliver a harvest.

Marianne Wine Estate’s Christelle Taute says they suffered some structural damage.

“We have a guesthouse at our estates. The pool house, which is one of our main houses… its thatches caught fire.”

Firefighters are also responding to a reported fire on the Klapmuts koppie.

WATCH: Simonsberg fire scorches Cape winelands

NO HANDLE ON SOUTH PENINSULA FIRE

Fire crews are battling to get a handle on the raging fires in the South Peninsula.

At least 40 firefighters have been working tirelessly to bring a runaway veld fire under control after it spread following a burning train incident earlier today.

Dozens of Fish Hoek residents along Mountain and Contour roads have been forced to flee with only a few personal belongings before the fire reached the residential area.

In stark contrast to the hustle-and-bustle of the ad hoc emergency centre set up at the community hall, evacuated resident Lorna Monkly calmly sits petting her dog waiting for her family to collect her.

Firefighters are readying themselves for a long night as strong winds continue to hamper firefighting efforts.

The three helicopters assisting ground crews have battled poor visibility as dense smoke and thick mist hovers above Elsies Peak.

FIREFIGHTERS REDIRECT STONEHAVEN ESTATE

Firefighters have again redirected to Stonehaven Estate near Glencairn where a runaway bush fire rages on.

The fire was sparked by two burning train carriages between Sunny Cove and Glencairn stations earlier today.

Firefighters discovered a body in one of the carriages.

Additional emergency personnel arrived at the Fish Hoek community hall, which has been transformed into an incident command centre.

Dozens of evacuated residents have sought shelter here after the blaze flared up between their homes.

At the same time, additional firefighters have been rushed to Glencairn where the ‘head of the fire’ has edged closer to the Stonehaven residential estate.

Three helicopters and spotter planes have been order to stand down due to blustery wind and poor visibility.

Click here to take a look at EWN’s special feature on the 2015 fire 

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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