SABC News.com - Fire crews struggle to put out W Cape runaway blaze :Wednesday 30 January 2013

Fire crews struggle to put out W Cape runaway blaze

Wednesday 30 January 2013 05:40

SABC

Hundreds of Working on Fire members were yesterday despatched to the Boland where a fire was raging out of control.

Hundreds of Working on Fire members were yesterday despatched to the Boland where a fire was raging out of control.(SABC)

Firefighters are continuing their battle to bring a runaway fire in the Wemmershoek mountains between Franschhoek and Paarl under control.

Scores of firefighters as well as four helicopters are fighting the blaze in soaring temperatures, strong winds and poor visibility.

Since Sunday more than 7 000 hectares of farmland and vegetation have been destroyed.

Royston Harris of the Cape Winelands District municipality said last night that the fire was moving towards the Du Toitskloof pass near Paarl.

"The fire is still out of control. We are going to strategically set our teams to fight the fire. We will use our helicopters as late as possible to protect property and life."

Hundreds of Working on Fire members were yesterday despatched to the Boland where a fire was raging out of control, threatening properties at Franschhoek and Paarl. 

Western Cape disaster management officials said they would only call for an evacuation in the Paarl area if it was absolutely necessary.

Western Cape disaster management officials said they would only call for an evacuation in the Paarl area if it was absolutely necessary.

Disaster management official Colin Deiner said: "It is obviously a very high-risk town. So whatever the warnings, they must be heeded quite diligently, but at the moment there is no direct request to evacuate."           

More than 7 000 hectares of alien vegetation, fynbos and farmland have been gutted.

Farmers say it's too early to estimate the damage caused.

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