One dead, residents evacuated as Betty’s Bay fire rages on

South Africa

A blaze which went out of control in the Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay area has already claimed the life of one person and resulted in the evacuation of some residents from their homes.

The Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (goFPA) reported earlier on Thursday morning that the fire had crossed over the R44 and is expected to move toward the sea. Some residents in Pringle Bay and Hangklip area have been requested to evacuate to the Pringle Bay town centre for safety purposes.

“With huge regret we have to report the loss of a life during the early hours of this morning. Our sincere condolences to the family. Cause of the fatality is currently unknown, SAPS and forensic services investigating,” the goFPA said on Thursday.

“We request the public to keep the communities of Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay, Hangklip and surrounding rural area in their thoughts, it was a traumatic night full of uncertainty.”

Fire protection services disclosed that 2 other people were seriously injured while one person sustained a minor injury.

“After a full day’s operations continuous addressing numerous flare-ups with no aerial support option the wind speed increased substantially and by evening containment was not possible and contingency plans were activated. Warnings and evacuations were done throughout the early hours of Thursday morning whilst firefighters braved high mountains and waves of fire.”

The group has also appealed that donations for the firefighters be dropped off at the Crassula Hall, Betty’s Bay.

City Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Theo Layne added that all necessary resources have been re-directed to aid firefighting efforts.

“The controlled burn that was due to take place in the Overberg district municipality area on Thursday morning has been cancelled due to the extensive area of vegetation that is currently burning in the Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay area,” Layne said.

“This requires that all resources are concentrated on the actual fire.”



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