Two fires still rage in Somerset West

Two fires were still raging on farms in Somerset West on Wednesday afternoon, threatening historic wine estates in the area, City of Cape Town fire management said.

“The fires which are threatening the Vergelegen and Knorhoek wine estates are still burning. We have dropped water bombs on the fires but they continue to burn,” said senior communications officer Winston Davids.

Earlier on Wednesday, the fire on the farm that could have reached the Lourensford wine estate died down.

“... What was left to burn on the farm has been burnt, so that fire has is gone.”

Davids said more than 70 firefighters and emergency personnel were on the scene trying to battle the blaze.

“They work in shifts, each shift ends at 9am every morning ...
that’s when we send in fresh legs,” he said.

The two helicopters, one from the South African National Defence Force and the other from Working on Fire, were used to drop water bombs.

On Tuesday, the helicopters could not take flight because of the dense smoke that hindered the visibility of the pilots, and by Wednesday morning personnel had to wait for heavy fog to die down before taking flight.

The cause of the fires remained undetermined.

Animals were evacuated off the farms, and no one was injured in the blaze.

He was not sure how much longer the fires would burn.

“If we do not put it out, then there would be nothing left to burn soon,” Davids said.—Sapa

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