Thursday 21 November 2019

Cape Town wildfire: Pictures reveal devastation as fire rips through mountains

Firefighters battle to control a bushfire in Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Firefighters battle to control a bushfire in Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Firefighters battle to control a bushfire in Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A helicopter drops water on a bushfire burning above Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A fireman hoses down a burning house near Cape Town, South Africa (AP Photo/Adrian de Kock)
Firefighters battle to control a bushfire in Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A helicopter drops water on a bushfire burning above Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Firefighters battle to control a bushfire in Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Firemen battle a blaze near Cape Town, South Africa (AP Photo/Adrian de Kock)
A bushfire burns in Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Firefighters duck burning debris as they battle to control a bushfire in Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A bushfire burns in Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
In this photo taken Monday, March 2, 2015, a helicopter water bombs fire in the Tokai Forest near Cape Town, South Africa (AP Photo/Mark Wessels)
Smoke shrouds a firefighter as a bushfire burns above Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A helicopter drops water on a bushfire burning above Cape Town's Tokai forest REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

HEATHER SAUL

The true extent of the devastation caused by a wildfire ripping through Cape Town, South Africa, for a third day running has been revealed in dramatic pictures.

Emergency rescue workers say at least five homes have been destroyed and one firefighter was injured during rescue work at Table Mountain.

An estimated 3,000 hectares of land have been destroyed in the fire, according to NBC News.

Helicopters are dropping water on to the flames as workers struggle to extinguish the huge blaze, which has been exacerbated by temperatures of 40C (104F).

Residents in some areas have been forced to evacuate their homes.

The exact cause of the fire, which broke out in Muizenverg on Saturday, remains unclear, Eye Witness News reports.

Fire and Rescue member Theo Lane said the area affected has now significantly increased after a change in wind direction.

“The area affected by the change in wind direction is from Kalk Bay, all around the mountain towards the Hout Bay area and then on the opposite side towards Tokai," he said.

The provincial government is planning to bring in 250 extra firefighters from other parts of the country, the South African Press Association reported. Thousands of acres of plants were also destroyed as the fire ripped through a national park.

However, Wednesday could see some reprieve as the first rain fell over the area. One resident said his entire office "erupted with cheers and whistles" when it started raining.

The Hout Bay Civic Association, a community organisation of residents affected by the fire, released a statement saying it was “humbled by the dedication” of firemen and firewomen.

Additional reporting by AP

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