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Helderberg fire: Further evacuations carried out

Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services say that with winds building up and the dry terrain, its operations to bring the inferno under control have been very difficult.

Helicopters collect water from the Boskloof Estate dam to fight a vegetation fire in Somerset West. Picture: Natalie Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Further evacuations have been carried out in Somerset West due to a raging vegetation fire.

Residents of Boskloof Estate were requested to clear the estate this morning.

Neighbouring properties were evacuate overnight as a precautionary measure.

Officials says several structures have been damaged by the fire.

Seventy-three families on the estate have been evacuated from their homes.

Resident Johan Erber says that firefighters have been working tirelessly.

"We know that Morgenster has been severely affected. We know Vergelegen and then one of our other neighbours, Waterstone, have also been affected. Some of the helicopters have been diverted there to assist with waterbombing."

Helicopters, which have been waterbombing the fireline are using a dam on the estate.

Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services say that with winds building up and the dry terrain, its operations to bring the inferno under control have been very difficult.

Seven buildings - including a four-star lodge outside Somerset West - have been damaged in the Helderberg fire.

At least 120 firefighters are on the scene, trying to contain the fire that broke out on Tuesday in the area.

Other crews are also attending to two separate fires in Grabouw and Kleinmond.

Hot and windy weather conditions, and rugged terrain are among the factors posing a major challenge to firefighting efforts.

The City of Cape Town's Fire and Rescue Services' Theo Layne said: "Currently there's no immediate danger to any properties but we have had about seven formal houses that have been damaged and destroyed as well as the Bezweni Lodge [where] the main building has been completely destroyed. Right now, crews are just doing a reconnaissance to see where the problem areas are."