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Cape Town – Firefighters are still trying to extinguish the flames after a fire broke out on Monday morning in Witelsbos in Tsitsikamma.
However, strong winds have made it difficult for firefighters to contain the blaze.
In a statement, Eastern Cape communications officer from Working on Fire Nthabiseng Mokone said the fire was out of control and the N2 highway remained closed, but motorists had been made aware of a bypass at the R102 highway.
“Five teams (Witelsbos, Sarah Baartman, Tsitsikamma, Longmore, Kromsriver) from the western part of the Eastern Cape together with aerial resources (one chopper) have been dispatched to assist MOT (Mountain to Ocean) and SANParks in suppressing the fire that started this morning at Witelsbos in Tsitsikamma,” Mokone said.
She said the cause of the fire was unknown at this stage, but she confirmed that no structures had been damaged by the fire.
Mokone urged residents in the nearby communities to be on alert at all times.
She said firefighters on the scene were following all Covid-19 protocols by not sharing water bottles, maintaining a physical distance where practical and always cleaning tools when they are needed to be exchanged with another team.
“This week the Fire Danger Index (FDI) is high in most parts of the Eastern Cape.
“FDI is a rating system that provides an indication as to the fire risk for a specific area. FDI has five colours which represent days and also assist people to know on which days are safe to burn.
“The blue colour indicates that there are low fire hazards, green colour indicates moderate danger, yellow indicates danger, orange indicates very dangerous while red indicates that it is extremely dangerous to start a fire on that day,” Mokone said.
Over 100 firefighters from seven EC WOF teams and one from Southern Cape (Crags) are hard at work fighting the fire that started this morning in Tsitsikamma area.
There are two fires that started this morning and were later combined into one fire. N2 still closed #WOF_EC pic.twitter.com/VaYtKHugZN
— Working on Fire (@wo_fire) June 21, 2021
By Monday afternoon, more support had been sent to assist fire crews battling the blaze.
“We just had an additional three more teams (sent) to the fire (Lottering, Bluelilies and Crags) from the Southern Cape together with a spotter and two aerial support vehicles,” Mokone added.
African News Agency (ANA)