Veld Fires in Cape Town: Safety Tips, Donations & Emergency ...

Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Also engage with our other channels
to find something you don't want to miss.

Veld Fires in Cape Town: Safety Tips, Donations & Emergency Contacts Guide

Everything you need to know about what to do, who to call and how you can help in the case of Western Cape fires

Veld fires, also known as wildfires, are scary and can be devastating when they involve hard-to-control flames that tend to ravage hundreds and sometimes thousands of hectares. These types of infernos tend to break out during the dry summer months (early October to late March), when parched fynbos, the natural and highly flammable vegetation in the area, makes large parts of the mountainous landscape prone to blazing conflagrations.

The most recent blaze, which has hit Muizenberg, Noordhoek Hout Bay and surrounding areas, is a perfect example of how dangerous and consuming these fires can be.




A photo posted by Faeron Wheeler (@faerie452) on Mar 2, 2015 at 10:44pm PST



A photo posted by Ricky Conn (@connsnature) on Mar 2, 2015 at 10:58pm PST

 This is why it is crucial to know what you can do in order to not only maximise your own safety, but also how to contribute towards the well-being of others who may be in danger too.


  • City of Cape Town: 107 or +27 (0) 21 480 7700 (from a cell phone)
  • Overberg: +27 (0) 28 425 1690
  • West Coast: +27 (0) 22 433 8700
  • Eden: +27 (0) 44 805 5071
  • Central Karoo: +27 (0) 23 414 2603
  • Cape Winelands: +27 (0) 21 887 4446


If you are situated in an area where veld fires are common, these tips could prove useful in the event of a fire:

  • Report the fire
  • Make sure you close all windows and doors to prevent burning embers
  • Any burning embers indoors should be immediately extinguished
  • Should there be an immediate threat to your property, damp down your garden (using either a hose or irrigation system)
  • Always have emergency food and medical kit ready
  • In case the water supply fails, make sure the you fill baths, buckets and dust bins with water
  • Seal any gaps between the doors and floors with damp towels in order to prevent smoke
  • Make a firm decision about whether it is safe to evacuate the scene or call for assistance
  • In the event of an evacuation, be sure to reach a safe area  


The Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) is a non-profit organisation that plays an immense role, alongside other public emergency services, in combating frequent blazes and also raising awareness around veld fires. In light of major veld fires, the VWS typically accepts donations in the form of food (don’t forget halaal goodies), drink (don’t forget diet drinks for diabetics) or a simple monetary pledge. For more information about where you can drop off VWS donation supplies or to which VWS bank account you make donations, visit and follow @VWSFires on Twitter.

The SPCA, which is the oldest animal welfare organisation in the country, has a Wildlife Team that is dedicated to monitoring and assisting animals that are affected by wildfires in various areas in the Western Cape and is also open to receiving both cash donations and water bowls, blankets, towels and more. For more information about the SPCA and ways you can assist the organisation during veld fires, visit

For regular updates on veld fires and various donation drives in the Western Cape, keep an eye on these accounts on Twitter:

  • Working on Fire: @wo_fire
  • Volunteer Wildfire Services: @vwsfires
  • SPCA: @SPCAcape
  • City of Cape Town: @CityofCT

Good to know: The aforementioned organisations also have up-to-date Facebook pages.


It has been noted that almost 90% of veld fires are due to human-related incidences. Here are ways to play your part in making sure that you contribute to the prevention of these dangerous fires:

  • Do not discard of burning cigarette butts carelessly
  • Report any negligent behaviour on by dialling +21 (0) 21 424 7715 (Stompie hotline)
  • If living near a high-risk fire zone, maintain necessary firebreaks and make sure visible fire extinguishers are in place
  • Only braai in safe and designated areas
  • In the event of a braai, make sure that fires are completely out before leaving the area
  • Do not burn any rubbish, rubber tyres or copper wire under any circumstances – this is illegal
  • Avoid slash and burn activities during  high-risk veld fire periods

Header image courtesy of Gail McAll.


Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City!

Cape Town Events Calendar
August 2019
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Toybox_4Step Into The Toybox Universe: Billy ...

Bass … Brazilian bass … Plus a touch of techno and afro-house too

William_Kentridge_2A Monumental Exhibition To Open At The ...

The iconic South African artist’s largest exhibition in Africa in over a decade

the_greatest_little_circus_showGravity-defying Trapeze, Acrobatics And ...

Inspired by 'The Greatest Showman', this local circus tells the story of how the ...

friday_night_live_aces_n_spadeA Raucous Night At The Good Bar Where ...

Live music and DJs at no charge + half-price drinks + R50 pizza until late

Ash_EvansBecome A Video Star

Learn how to handle yourself on camera

rotterdamUltimate Bachelorette Party: The Girls ...

Three days of gin pairings, massages and pool (or fireside bar) parties on a private ...

Jedi Tedi 3Drink Rosé & Find Inner Peace

Yoga, meditation and rosé on tap at this Women’s Day brunch in Milnerton

WildFlower2Join The Wild Flower Tour Madiba Did

Stay in a luxury guesthouse and learn about more than 1200 flower species

Kinky BootsSmash-Hit Kinky Boots Extended To 2020 ...

With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award

kiff_kombi_gin_tourIt’s Cape Town's Most Spirited Road ...

All aboard, gin lovers. You’re about to discover Cape Town’s hidden gin gems

sundoo2019_10Lamb Curry to Duck Briyani and Bunny ...

Sundoo’s South-Indian-inspired tapas are ideal for that lazy lunch that turns into ...

grub_vine_8What Happens at Brunch Club at Grub & ...

Chef Matt Manning serves a two-, three- or five-course brunch

ghost_walksWalk With Ghosts In A Haunted Village ...

Discover the mysterious Lavender Lady, an unsinkable coffin, butchering barbers, exhumed ...

greyton_brew_runPsssst … Save The Date, Limited ...

With a coffee brew at the start and a barley brew at the end, the Greyton Brew run is ...

OX Seals 04Smile: You Get 10% Off Seal Snorkelling ...

Up close with wild Cape fur seals in small, intimate excursions that are super special, ...

tigger_2_royaleOn Bended Knee, Out At Sea, Aboard The ...

Turn the Tigger 2 Royale catamaran into your personal Love Boat, with their special ...

Teen Photography Boot CampTake Your Shot: Photography Boot Camp ...

The course includes live demo training, camera equipment to hire plus an official ...

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery ...

Every Friday night the Jack Black stage is lit up with local talent

Knife 6A Meal and Sparkling Wine on the House ...

Knife will treat you to a free meal on any Saturday that falls in the month of your ...

Camissa Tour 5 2015Get A Unique Sunday Gospel Experience ...

Embark on a spiritual Sunday journey through one of the Mother City’s most soulful ...

Glowing Rooms 3Get a Great Saving on 3D Mini-Golf with ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Coco Safar Dinner NEW 2Indulge In Dinner and Dessert At Coco ...

And now they have added couture alcoholic cocktails to the menu at this all-day cafe

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownSave on your kids’ birthday party ...

Make your kids’ birthday party extra special with outdoor laser tag with Battlefield ...

Nasty Womxn - 4But What If Medusa Had Won?

A sketch art exhibition retelling stories of Greek mythology from a women’s perspective

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.