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Jonkershoek fire: Informal settlement residents relocated,2 firefighters injured

Cape Winelands District Municipality's Jo-Anne Otto said the fire was still out of control, and crews were working round the clock to contain and control it.

No loss of human life, property or serious injuries have been reported thus far. Two ground crew members were taken to hospital for minor injuries. Picture: Twitter/@StellMun

CAPE TOWN – Two firefighters are recovering in hospital after they were injured fighting a raging wildfire outside Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.

The blaze in the Jonkershoek Valley had already burnt through more than 8,000 hectares of vegetation – with the flames fanned by strong winds.

Jo-Anne Otto from the Cape Winelands District Municipality said the fire was still out of control, and crews were working round the clock to contain and control it.

“Further planning today includes the deployment of aerial resources to water bomb the higher peaks and hot spots. The dense smoke and high winds make flying very dangerous, which means that water bombing can only be implemented when there is good visibility and little wind."

Meanwhile, Winelands District authorities moved a group of informal settlement residents to temporary accommodation.

“The command team has confirmed that two ground team members sustained injuries and are currently receiving treatment in hospital. There has been no loss of life, livelihood or property at this stage. However, a few residents from an informal settlement were relocated to a community hall."

Provincial authorities say there's no need for a mass evacuation of the surrounding areas at this stage, but they are advising people with respiratory problems, the elderly, and people with young children to leave the area if they can.

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