Fire kept from Inyoni Creek boundary fence

After a veld fire came too close for comfort to Inyoni Creek’s boundary fence on June 9, extended fire breaks have been cut at both Inyoni Creek and neighbouring retirement village Elphin Lodge.

Fortunately, Rand Aid – which owns both villages – had arranged for fire breaks to be cut by Servest the week before, after delays due to the national lockdown.

Elphin Lodge and Inyoni Creek are separated by the Jukskei River and the riparian areas on both sides of the river are well grassed and treed, making them a fire threat in the dry winter months. The river runs behind Inyoni Creek, in the direction of the Edenvale Hospital, before curving away from the 20-hectare Rand Aid property. There are also extensive veld areas behind both villages.

While the fire department was on scene, a number of Rand Aid personnel used a fire hose and hose pipes to wet the grass around the boundary fence and Servest personnel got stuck in too.

Inyoni Creek manager Jenny Tonkin says the fire started at around 1pm. “The Servest team, working on site, immediately started using bush trimmers to cut back more of the overgrown brush next to the fire break, because they predicted the fire would head our way. They were marvellous,” says Jenny.

“The fire on June 9 prompted us to extend our fire breaks quite significantly, as an extra precautionary measure, and our service provider, Servest, was able to urgently accommodate us,” says Zabeth Zühlsdorff, Rand Aid’s GM Services and Advance Division.

Rand Aid’s George Vermeulen (grounds manager) and Gavin Tonkin (assistant maintenance manager) wet the boundary line around the retirement village.

Basil and Joan Scott-Hayward, who recently moved into Inyoni Creek, watch as a fire in the veld near their perimeter home is fought.

The extended fire break that was cut around Elphin Lodge.

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