Runaway fire

Franschhoek fire threatens surrounding regions

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Dozens of people were forced to flee from their homes as flames engulfed the winelands.

The wildfire is said to have started above the mountains in Francshhoek and due to the hot and windy weather conditions, it was able to spread throughout the region.

It has been described as the biggest fire catastrophe that cape Town has seen in the past 30 years.

Working on Fire's Linton Rensburg stated that 14 teams had been deployed to help stop the blaze and Premier Helen Zille tweeted on the 28th January - 'Code RED Wemmerhoek fire: started Franschoek, burning Du Toits kloof, lives and farms in danger. Fire uncontained. All resources deployed.'

In Franschhoek, residents, firefighters and volunteers fought hard throughout the night to keep the fire subdued and so far, reports are coming in that say that around 6 200 hectares of veld has been burnt.

Amazingly, there have been no reports of any deaths or serious casualties and the Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Wemmershoek Dam communities have come together as one to quell the flames.

According to the Cape Argus, Royston Harris, station commander for the Cape Winelands fire department states that Paarl was not in immediate danger, but with an unfavourable wind direction, the flames are still moving in the direction of the N1. On the other side of the Huguenot tunnel, the fire is reportedly making its way down Du Toit’s Kloof. (Read more here)

News24 show a helicopter trying to battle the blaze here

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