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Cost of Cape Fires Already Estimated at a Whopping R6 Million, Still Counting

Burning Table MountainDespite still being counted, the actual cost of the devastating Cape fires has already amounted to an estimated R6 million in infrastructure, Helen Bamford reports for the Cape Argus.

“In addition to the infrastructure loss, the closure of the recreation areas will mean a huge loss in revenue. Two tented camps on a section of the popular Hoerikwaggo Trail in Silvermine and several footpaths were also destroyed, as well as long stretches of uninsured boardwalks,” Bamford writes.

She spoke to fire manager Philip Prins, Table Mountain National Park manager Paddy Gordon, and Rob Erasmus from Enviro Wildfire Services to find out more about the far-reaching consequences of the fire and the impact it had on the economy of the Southern Peninsula.

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The park estimated that it had cost between R5.5m and R6m to fight the fires, with R4.8m in aerial costs alone, according to fire manager Philip Prins.

Park manager Paddy Gordon said there would also be a huge increase in alien vegetation clearing costs over the next few years as plants such as Australian wattles reseeded after fires.

The park already spends about R25m a year on alien clearing.

Gordon said the fires would have been much worse if they hadn’t cleared the aliens they had.


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