Car destroyed and section of reserve damaged in blaze

The burnt Hyundai

A woman’s car was destroyed and a section of the Rietvlei Nature Reserve burnt after the vehicle got stuck in sand.

It’s believed the car’s hot exhaust ignited dry grass in the reserve, but Fire and Rescue say the exact cause of the blaze is still undetermined.

Milnerton firefighters were called out to the fire on Tuesday March 7, at about 6.30pm, after the Hyundai got caught in sand close to Marine Drive, in Table View.

The car and vegetation near the nature reserve had already been burning when the firefighters arrived, said Tracey Whittaker, from Fire and Rescue.

“The entire vehicle and contents was damaged by the fire. No injuries were reported,” she said.

Area north mini mayor Suzette Little said that according to nature reserve staff the car had been completely burnt out after getting stuck in sand a few metres from a gravel road.

“The spot where the vehicle caught alight is within an area where the public may not drive with vehicles. There is a sign indicating that private vehicles are prohibited from driving beyond a certain point,” said Ms Little.

The fire had caused damage to less than a hectare of the reserve, she said.

Frieda Prinsloo, a friend of the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, described the fire as an “unfortunate event”.

“I know the woman drove where she wasn’t supposed to. She said she wanted to make a U-turn but there was plenty of space to do that,” said Ms Prinsloo.

Richard Adcock, who lives near Rietvlei, said that after being “smothered by smoke” he had decided to investigate.