One killed, two seriously injured as fire on Cape coast rages out of control
One person was killed and two seriously injured early on Thursday as a fire raged on the Western Cape coast.
A strong south-easter fuelled the blaze in Betty's Bay on Wednesday night, to the point where it grew out of control, said the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association.
"With huge regret we have to report the loss of a life during the early hours of this morning," the association said in a statement. "The cause of the fatality is currently unknown. The SA Police Service and forensic services are investigating."
The statement also reported two serious injuries and a minor injury during "a traumatic night filled with uncertainty".
Homes in parts of Pringle Bay had to be evacuated early on Thursday as a fire started in nearby Betty's Bay by a flare fired at midnight on New Year's Eve reached the village.
The association said firefighters spent Wednesday tackling numerous flare-ups.
"The wind speed increased substantially. By evening, containment was not possible and contingency plans were activated. Warnings and evacuations were done throughout the early hours of this morning, while firefighters braved high mountains and waves of fire," it said.
"The wind conditions were so adverse that the worst-case scenarios were not preventable. Numerous resources deployed including a Working on Fire chopper, spotter and a South African Air Force Oryx helicopter."
The R44 between Gordon's Bay and Kleinmond was closed on Thursday as flames raged on either side of the road. Evacuees in Pringle Bay were advised to gather in the village's central business district.