Fire sends St. Francis Bay residents packing out of fear

The municipality says there’s no official evacuation but it is aware people are vacating their homes.


CAPE TOWN - Hundreds of residents in St. Francis Bay are fleeing their homes because of a fire threatening property in the Eastern Cape coastal town.

Firefighters had extinguished the flames this morning after working throughout the night but the blaze has flared up close the town's main artery.

A single helicopter is assisting in dousing the flames and the Kouga Municipality says a second chopper is on the way.

The municipality says there's no official evacuation but it is aware people in Sea Vista township are vacating their homes.

"If that fire hops; the shacks are built right up the road, there is maybe a 15-20m gap that it has to jump and then it's over; so we have helicopters in here dropping water, but it doesn't look good at all."

Harmer says some residents are trying to protect their homes.

"In St. Francis there's a lot of people. Guys have come down with trailers packing valuables onto them. They are also cutting down trees in preparation to this fire jumping the road."

Additional firefighters from a neighbouring municipality are being roped in to assist in the fire.