Bush fires continue to rage in the southern peninsula area of South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.
Temperatures soared above 40 degrees in what was the area’s hottest day in century.
Helicopters and fixed wing aircraft waterbombed the blaze and firefighters were drafted in from neighbouring towns. Ends intro
The endemic Western Cape scrub known as fynbos is tinder dry at the end of summer in South Africa’s thin southern sliver area of winter rainfall.
The cause of the fire that started over the weekend has not been established. It has spread rapidly across the peninsula.
Flames are fanned by the strong southeasterly wind that blows across the area at this time of year. The mountainous terrain has made fighting the fire difficult and dangerous.
Hundreds of square kilometres of bush have been left looking like a lunarscape on which slower-moving wildlife has died,.
Damage to property includes a luxury lodge and several homes razed.
There has been time to evacuate areas under threat – including residents of an old-aged gome. One firefighter has been hospitalised with burns. There are no reports of deaths.
President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the fighters. They are working day and night although their aircraft are grounded after dark for safety reasons.
Local communities are supplying them with food and drink which is being ferried to refreshment areas by the network taxi company Uber.