Firefighters up against hot, dry weather as Paarl blazes continue

Cape Town – Firefighters are contending with hot, dry and windy conditions in Paarl, where blazes are still burning along mountain slopes, officials said on Wednesday.

Fires on the Bainskloof mountains have been burning for three days.

According to incident command spokesperson Marietjie Engelbrecht, the weather was expected to be "hot and dry", with unpredictable winds.

Fires were burning towards the Bainskloof side of the Wellington mountains, Engelbrecht said on Wednesday morning. 

200 firefighters were at the scene, with aerial support from two South African Airforce (SAAF) helicopters and two helicopters contracted from the Cape Winelands. 

On Tuesday, the main building on the Calais Wine Estate was destroyed by fires in the area.

Meanwhile, Eden district municipality fire head Freddie Phyver on Wednesday said weather conditions could exacerbate fires in Stilbaai.

"Active firefighting is still ongoing in Stilbaai, the weather conditions (for) this afternoon seems to be very dry and very windy, so we’d like to extinguish the fires before then," Phyver said. 

Fires that had been burning in Mossel Bay were extinguished on Tuesday afternoon, municipal media liaison Harry Hill said. 

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