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Windy conditions hamper efforts to contain Cape fires

It took authorities the whole of Monday to bring a raging bush fire in Kommetjie under control.

Firefighters battle a veld fire in Scarborough. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Hot and windy weather has hampered efforts to contain three veldfires in the Southern Peninsula.

The bush fires destroyed several homes at the Rasta informal settlement in Ocean View yesterday.

The Kommetjie area was covered in a thick blanket of smoke.

At least 100 firefighters, 30 vehicles and five helicopters battled the blaze.

The fire started in Scarborough and grew considerably, spreading to two other areas.

Slangkop and Main Roads were closed between Redhill & Kommetjie.

The windy conditions made a difficult operation even tougher for firefighters.

It took authorities the whole of Monday to bring a raging bush in Kommetjie under control.

The City of Cape Town Richard Bosman said the weather forecast for the rest of the week means they can expect more difficult conditions.

"Checking the weather forecast for the week, seems we going to have this wind for the entire week, with temperatures between 28 and 33. So this is going to be difficult week, we'll probably see this another two/three days easily."

Bosman said, "Three different fires in three different areas that create some concern for us at this stage in time but with Misty Cliffs and Scarborough so close to each other, it might have blown over."

Meanwhile, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) came to the rescue of a few critters trapped in the blaze.

The SPCA's Sean Gells said, "So we've been finding some tortoises, some porcupines and some grysbokkies that have been running around, obviously with the smoke and the fire everything is disorientated."

The cause of the fires is still being investigated but some are convinced the fires were started on purpose.

Cape Town's hot and dry summer conditions often make it susceptible to wildfires.

Last year was particularly devastating, with 5,000 hectares of vegetation being burnt.

The fire took four days to bring under control and damaged or destroyed 13 homes.

Click here to take a look at EWN's special feature on the 2015 fire.