PICS: Van Der Stel Pass fire lines 'much better', but fire not yet contained

Firefighters are still battling a fire on Van Der Stel Pass near Grabouw in the Western Cape, which flared up on Saturday amid bad weather conditions. It is believed to have been the source of thick smoke which clouded the City of Cape Town over the weekend.

While firefighters said on Saturday night that some of the fire lines were "much better", unexpected weather conditions had made it difficult to contain the fire completely.

It is believed that there was a small fire on De Waal Drive on Table Mountain on Friday night, but that the cause of the smoke in the city centre is from the Van Der Stel Pass fire.

Western Cape local government spokesperson James-Brent Styan said he was not aware of any fires on Table Mountain on Sunday morning.

At about midnight on Saturday night, the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (FPA) said the fire on Van Der Stel's Pass was still not contained, and that over 7 000 ha had been burned. Difficult and unpredictable weather conditions had made the day's firefighting challenging and things were made worse when a fire from Koffie Kraal joined up with the main fire, the FPA said.

The Nuweberg Village was evacuated and the Lebanon Village was "defended", the association said.

The fire was of severe concern to firefighters on Saturday morning. The FPA said it had flared up at about 23:00 on Friday and that it had started high up in the Groenlandberg Mountain, moving down on to De Rust Estate.

Working on Fire dispatched resources to assist the Western Cape government firefighters on Saturday, as a fire on Hansmoeskraal near George also broke out. 

Earlier this month, runaway fires devastated the Overstrand area in the Western Cape, resulting in the evacuation of some towns and the destruction of many homes. 

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