Betty's Bay fire stretches over 5 000 hectares

More than 5 000 hectares of vegetation have been destroyed by the fires linked to a flare shot on New Year's Eve in the Overstrand area.

The fire which started in Betty's Bay now covers three jurisdictional areas, starting off in Overstand municipality, crossing over into Theewaterskloof municipality and the City of Cape Town.

Late on Sunday, 60% of the original fire was contained in Betty's Bay, Rooi Els, Pringle Bay and Kogel Bay.

However, several fire lines continue to spread as firefighters struggle to contain the growing blaze.

Fire Chief at Overberg District Municipality, Reinhard Geldenhuys, says various firefighting authorities will meet this afternoon to plot how to tackle the fires.

Since the flare went up on New Years morning, the fire has grown to an area of about 5300 hectares and is now spanning three local authorities.

Reinhard Geldenhuys, Fire Chief at Overberg District Municipality

There are still huge fire lines pumping out a lot of smoke.

Reinhard Geldenhuys, Fire Chief at Overberg District Municipality

He says crews are working to prevent the blaze from spreading to the greater Theewaterskloof area, Grabouw, Steenbras dam and surrounding farm areas.

Three different authorities are now working together with other landowners to work the fire. It has been contained in larges areas.

Reinhard Geldenhuys, Fire Chief at Overberg District Municipality

A 34-year-old man suspected of firing the flare is expected to appear in court on Monday morning.

Read: Man arrested in connection with Overstrand fire which has caused one fatality

The fire has so far claimed the life of a 59-year-old woman in Pringle Bay and at least two other people have been injured.

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

Many fatigued firefighters are coming to the end of their cycles, Geldenhuys advises, as new relief teams prepare to come in from upcountry and around the province.

Listen to the fire updates and how to make donations:


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