Helderberg fire rages on, remains volatile

Crews are on standby to assist with operations following overnight flare ups.

Smoke from the fire in Somerset West covers the sky. Picture: Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Emergency Service authorities say the situation remains volatile in fire-ravaged Helderberg in the Western Cape because of changing wind patterns.

Crews are on standby to assist with operations following overnight flare ups.

The fire has so far damaged or destroyed several structures and thousands of hectares of farmland, causing an estimated R51 million in damages.

Water bombers have been deployed to Somerset West to deal with fresh flare ups on mountain slopes in the region.

Fire and Rescue Services' Theo Layne says unpredictable winds continue to hamper their efforts.

“It just depends on the climatic conditions as to how long there will be water bombing. The wind has picked up again somewhat this morning and that is of concern as it’s also difficult to get to all the hot spots.”

Earlier this week several residents were forced to evacuate their homes when the fire came dangerously close to their properties in Somerset West.

Twelve tourists have been left stranded after the Bezweni Lodge was engulfed in flames.

[GALLERY] Somserset West fire in pictures

(Edited by Neo Koza)