One dead after firefighting helicopter crashes in the Cape
A Working On Fire helicopter has crashed‚ killing one person‚ in the Vermaaklikheid area of the Garden Route while fighting fires that have raged there since the weekend.
Linton Rensburg‚ communications manager at Working on Fire‚ said the Huey helicopter crashed around 9:45am but said “the cause of the accident is not yet known”.
According to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM)‚ the fire has been deemed out of control. Officials warn that approximately 100 buildings‚ including thatched roof farm houses and other infrastructure‚ are at risk of becoming engulfed in the blaze.
Western Cape Fire Update#VermaaklikheidFire #HessequaFire— Working on Fire (@wo_fire) October 23, 2018
As the #HeatWave continues in the Western Cape, a number of firefighters & pilots continue to battle a blaze in Vermaaklikheid. A WOF spotter plane & chopper was deployed at first light this morning.
📽 @GardenRoute_DM pic.twitter.com/GcJ6XxBTU0
No evacuations are currently in place but the GRDM say that “the community is well aware of the danger”.
T/ @environmentza WOF firefighters worked throughout the evening securing hotspot areas.— Working on Fire (@wo_fire) October 23, 2018
According to t/ @SouthernCapeFPA, following a Reccé flight this morning, t/ conditions of the fire is looking much better though a number of hot spot areas, & a change in weather conditions pic.twitter.com/FNxE2JjPnM
Western Cape minister of local government‚ environmental affairs and development planning‚ Anton Bredell‚ said in a statement the helicopter had crashed during firefighting operations and confirmed there had been one fatality.
“The family‚ friends and the community of firefighters are in our thoughts at this time‚” he said.