Overberg residents pin hopes on rain as fire crews brace for tough night

Earlier on Friday, local municipalities requested residents to evacuate their homes as high winds rapidly fanned the flames of fires.

A fire seen in the Franskraal area on 11 January 2019. Fires are raging in Franskraal, Karwyderskraal, Betty’s Bay, Gansbaai and Hermanus. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Overberg residents are hoping that the rain will help douse the flames of damaging fires, which once again flared up in the region on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, local municipalities requested residents, in some areas, to evacuate their homes as high winds rapidly fanned the flames of fires that hours before were said to have been contained.

Fires are now burning in Franskraal, Karwyderskraal, Betty’s Bay, Gansbaai and Hermanus.

Firefighters in the Overberg area are once again bracing for a tough night.

Several fires are threatening property across the region with structures already destroyed in Betty’s Bay.

A Gansbaai resident describes the scenes around him: “There are two helicopters in the sky. The wind is picking up, and there’s smoke all over the area.”

Meanwhile, in Hermanus residents have also been asked to leave their homes.

“We were told the fire was travelling towards the Hermanus area,” a resident explained.

Firefighters from the City of Cape Town and Cape Winelands District have been dispatched to assist with the firefighting efforts.

POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES

The Overstrand Municipality is warning of possible power outages on Friday night, but says they’re due to Eskom interruptions.

Two helicopters are bolstering efforts on the ground where at least eight fire engines have been deployed.

Firefighters in Gansbaai are also still battling a blaze there.

Overstrand fire chief Reinhardt Geldenhuys says, “There’s a fire in Hermanus. It started in Karwyderskraal area and moved towards Hermanus due to the strong westerly wind of about 30 to 40 kilometres. We’ve evacuated three areas.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)