Homes evacuated in Somerset West as wildfires rage

Picture: Justin Sullivan
Picture: Justin Sullivan

Homes in Somerset West were evacuated overnight and on Wednesday morning as fires continued to rage‚ fuelled by a strong south-easter wind.

Weather SA listed a number of Western Cape regions as fire risks for Wednesday as more wind and dry conditions were forecast.

Safe N2 Project ‏@SafeN2Project tweeted: “#CPTTraffic #SomersetFire Houses being evacuated in Boskloof Estate in Somerset West due to ongoing fire.”

Cape Town resident Regina ‏@madebyregina issued this appeal: “Horseboxes desperately needed in @Somerset_West as residents and animals are being evacuated #StrandFireStation. http://www.sapeople.com/2017/01/03/update-somerset-west-fire-evacuations-help-”.

The worst fire that broke out on Tuesday was near the four-star Bezweni Lodge in Sir Lowry’s Pass‚ where eight fire engines and helicopters were called in to battle the flames.

Traffic on the N2 in the area was badly affected on Tuesday‚ but this was settled on Wednesday morning. Safe N2 Project ‏@SafeN2Project posted: “#CPTTraffic N2 Inbound and Outbound at Sir Lowrys Pass Road has been re-opened to traffic.”

“Firefighting efforts are currently being hampered by a very strong south-easterly wind and mountainous terrain‚” City of Cape Town fire and rescue department spokesman Theo Layne said on Tuesday.

Seventy firefighters were being assisted by Working on Fire staff and employees of Overberg Municipality.

A fire at Boskloof Eco Estate was contained by late afternoon. Layne said no properties had been damaged in either blaze.

Firefighters from Jonkershoek were called out to Grabouw and station manager Wayne van den Heuvel said the fire was thought to have been flare-up from a blaze last week.

Layne said the fire in District Six‚ which blanketed the city bowl in smoke‚ was quickly contained.

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