'rising from the ashes'
Three years after a runaway fire swept through Doornnek Farm in the Zuurberg Mountains, a new youth training facility and tourist accommodation is rising from the ashes.
In August 2016 a wildfire fanned by strong south westerly winds ran through thousands of hectares of Zuurberg fynbos & forest vegetation and in its path it destroyed seven wooden cabins on the Doornnek Farm. The farm, recently acquired by the Department of Rural Development & Land Reform, had just started the construction phase of a major upgrade to provide training facilities for the Eastern Cape branch of NARYSEC and the cabins were to be renovated and modified as part of a tourism project on the same site.
Despite the setback caused by the fire, construction resumed almost immediately and the training facilities are now nearing completion. New cabins have been designed to replace those destroyed by the fire and construction is due to start on them this month. They are fire-resistant structures with green roofs and each unit has its own kitchen, living room and en-suite bathrooms. It is anticipated that the facility will be open to the public towards the end of 2020.