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Franschhoek fires still burning

2010-02-09 11:43

Cape Town - There is no relief in sight for firefighters currently battling to put out wildfires in the Franschhoek Valley, say officials.

“The fires are still going on, and we currently have six teams of ground firefighters working on them,” national co-ordinator for Working on Fire (WoF) Michelle Kleinhans told News24 on Tuesday.

Kleinhans said the weather was worse than what it was on Monday, and predicted the wind might pick up during the day.

Eyewitness News reported on Monday that at least 5 000 hectares of vegetation had been destroyed.

Southern Cape fires contained

In the Eden District Municipality, officials say most of the fires have been contained.

“We do have aerial support to monitor the area,” said WoF national despatch manager, Annelize Lamprecht. “We’ve also received additional ground support from the Free State, and KwaZulu/Natal.”

She added that although most of the fires had been contained, they had a lot of people to make sure that it is safe.

“The wind will pick up during the day, but we’re confident that we’ve got it under control,” she said.

Jeanine Orzechowski, a resident of Knysna, told News24 that officials closed the Rheenendal road to try and contain the fire in the area.

“The road was eventually opened today after the fire had managed to cross,” she said. “What was amazing is that the community really worked hard, and farmers who were already going through a water shortage were using their water to put out the fire.”

She added that no homes had been damaged in the area.

- Have you got any fire pictures or stories to share with the News24 community? Send pictures to photos@news24.com.

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