Donations have been pouring in from the Helderberg to feed and hydrate firefighters and crew who risked their lives to extinguish the series of fires. An estimated 600 meals are prepared daily and taken to the command base at Lourensford to feed the 300 firefighters.

This donation operation, which is still ongoing, is a collaborative effort between the Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay Neighbourhood Watches, including the organisation, Fire Wives. Donations delivered to various drop-off points taken to the Fire Wives base at the Dutch Reformed Church in Beach Road Gordon’s Bay, where their volunteers prepare the meals. Volunteers from the Neighbourhood Watches transport these meals to the command point, where they are distributed to the firefighters. Meals consist of sandwiches, an energy drink, energy bar and water.

Donations from local supermarkets, bakeries and other stores have also been streaming in, which include anything from bread and mayonnaise to bully beef. Tony Cross- from the Somerset West Neighbourhood Watch said the operation has been very successful and is still ongoing. They are also donating to firefighting efforts in Stellenbosch.

The operation’s donation drop off points are currently at the Somerset West Neighbourhood Watch in Main Road, Somerset West; Strand Fire Station and the Dutch Reformed Church in Gordon’s Bay. Cross says they have received several thousand litres of water and energy drinks in the past two weeks, including bakkies tilled with various food items. Several hundred loaves of bread and hundreds of eggs were also delivered from egg farms.

Judith Cross, who has volunteered in the organising efforts, says the donations are overwhelming.”When help is needed, the community comes to the party.”