Police to investigate whether flare caused Betty's Bay and Pringle Bay fires

Overstrand Municipality fire chief Lester Smith says efforts are ongoing to contain a fire raging in parts of the area.

The blaze, which started on New Year's Eve, is believed to have been sparked when someone set off a flare.

We suspect that it's a flare [which started the fire]. This will also be investigated by Saps.

Lester Smith, Overstrand Fire Services and Disaster Management chief

Smith says the fire started on the high Voorberg mountain slopes above Mooiuitsig in Betty’s Bay and spread towards the town, fanned by a strong southeasterly wind.

A woman has died and at least two other people have been injured.

The R44 between Gordon's Bay and Kleinmond was temporarily closed on Thursday as a safety precaution.

Some residents in the Pringle Bay and Betty's Bay areas have returned to their homes after being advised to evacuate.

If conditions worsen, Smith says authorities may have to order another evacuation.

Meanwhile, one Pringle Bay resident says that she and her family are back in their home after the overnight evacuations.

June, who describes the runaway fire, says the devastation on the mountain slopes is shocking.

We woke up in the middle of the night to these enormous flames quite close to our properties... There were hundreds of cars all trying to make for a safer place.

June, Pringle Bay resident

It didn't take long for the flames to suddenly get here. It was very frightening.

June, Pringle Bay resident

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