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George fire death toll rises to 7

The Western Cape Local Government Department says efforts to extinguish the fire are continuing.

At least seven people have been killed following a blaze in the Karatara area, in George. Picture: @wo_fire /Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The death toll in the raging George fire has increased to seven.

On Monday, the George Municipality evacuated residents from Blanco Valley and other areas.

The Western Cape Local Government Department says efforts to extinguish the fire are continuing.

The department's James-Brent Styan says: “Seven fatalities have been confirmed in the Karatara area as a result of ongoing wildfires which includes two women, one who was pregnant.”

Meanwhile, about 180 people are being housed at the George Town Hall.

Working on Fire's Lauren Howard says: “The fire remains active on the slopes. Evacuations have been called for at the informal settlements in Blanco Golden Valley as well as Glen Barrie.”

Over 400 firefighters have been battling the blaze, which has burned over 16,600 hectares since last week.

Brent-Styan says officials are on scene to assist fire victims.

“There will be food, a place to sleep and social services. There are a variety of different structures that look at different things. As I mentioned, the medical services are there to look at people who may be struggling to breathe. They will be referred to hospitals in the area.”

Windy conditions remain a challenge.

Brent-Styan says about 400 firefighters have been deployed to the area.

“Things are under control. There is no need for panic. Social services are on the ground as well to assist and medical services are on the ground to look at respiratory problems. People who are really panicked or stressed are advised to call the emergency number at 112.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)