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Several homes damaged as Cape fires spread

Cape Town’s Fire Services says eight homes have been damaged with three of them totally destroyed.

A property in Swaanswyk suburb of Tokai that was destroyed in the early hours of Wednesday 4 March 2015. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN
Cape Town fires,Cape Town fire,Fire fighters,Muizenberg fires,Hout Bay fires,Muizenberg fire,Muizenberg veld fire,Noordehoek fire,Lakeside fire,chapmans peak fire,Boyes Drive closed due to fire,aerial view of the Muizenberg fire
Local

CAPE TOWN – At least eight more houses have been severely damaged in fires that continue to rage on the Southern Peninsula in the Western Cape.

This brings to 13 the total number of homes that have been damaged, in one way or another, in the inferno since the first blaze broke out in Muizenberg on Sunday.

Firefighters have been battling to bring the fire under control but its shows no signs of abating and the exact cause remains unclear.

The Muizenberg fire seen spreading over the mountains of the Cape Peninsula on 2 March 2015. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN
The Muizenberg fire seen spreading over the mountains of the Cape Peninsula on 2 March 2015. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

Some Noordhoek residents grabbed only their valuables and their pets when they were evacuated from their homes at about 1am this morning. 

They say authorities commanded them to leave their homes when strong winds picked up shortly after midnight, causing fires to spread quite rapidly. 

The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service says eight homes have been damaged with three of them totally destroyed. 

WATCH: A chopper pilot's view of the Cape wildfires

A group of Noordhoek residents spent the night at a local sports complex while others, especially the elderly have taken shelter at a local church hall where relief efforts are underway. 

At the same time, shifting wind directions around Table Mountain have led to areas previously unaffected by the blaze being torched overnight as emergency services battle the inferno for a fourth consecutive day.

The fire started raging again around midnight when the wind picked up in Noordhoek with burning embers igniting a thatched roof across Chapman’s Peak Drive.

People are also streaming in to the Noordhoek Outdoor Centre to drop off donations or to volunteer in any way they can. 

Bottled water, energy bars and food for the firefighters have been dropped off at the Lakeside Fire Station.

Trees go up in smoke on the slopes of the Silvermine Nature Reserve on 2 March 2015 as wildfires burn in Cape Town. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

Trees go up in smoke on the slopes of the Silvermine Nature Reserve on 2 March 2015 as wildfires burn in Cape Town. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

Fire and Rescue’s Theo Lane says the area affected has now significantly increased in size.

“The area affected by the change in wind direction is from Kalk Bay, all around the mountain towards the Hout Bay area and then on the opposite side towards Tokai.”

COOLER WEATHER EXPECTED

Hundreds of firefighters are doing everything they can but can expect some relief today as rain and cool weather have been forecast for today. 

On Tuesday, Capetonians experienced the hottest day in 100 years.

Layne explains what's expected today.

“Today we’re going to be having a little bit of a cooler day with expected rain, which is going to assist with damping or cooling down of the entire burnt areas. That should make it a little easier for firefighters to contain any flare-ups that should occur.”

While the stench of smoke still fills the air, the winds at least seem to have died down.

Around 4,000 hectares of land has also been affected.

Spare a thought for the brave fire fighters battling Cape Town wild fires #CapeTownFire #MuizenbergFire #CapeFire pic.twitter.com/e7qC9AnpWJ

Meanwhile, more fire crews are being brought in from various other provinces to beef up operations.

Emergency helicopters resumed water bombing in the Tokai area early on Tuesday morning after strong winds fanned the flames towards the pine fields in the forest. 

Firefighters have been stationed at the Tokai Arboretum through the night, to monitor the inferno. 

Some residents, arriving to drop off refreshments for the fire crews, say they’re distressed at the extent of the fire.

“I can’t actually believe it.”

Residents say this wild fire reminds them of the destruction caused by a similar blaze in the area 15 years ago.

WATCH: Fire keeps spreading in the Mother city.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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