Strong winds in Cape Town in the past few days have affected firefighting efforts against three separate fires in Franskraal, Betty's Bay and Karwyderskraal. It is believed that they gusting winds were close to 100km/h that were pounding the coastline.
Reports indicate that 31 residential properties have been completely destroyed due to the Overberg fires. 28 properties sustained major damage, and its estimated that over 12800 hectors of vegetation have been destroyed.
Africa Melane spoke to the Overstrand fire chief Lester Smith.
The residents of the Franskraal area have returned to their homes. Currently within the Frankraal area there are still small fires, however the fore crews are doing whatever they can to put off the fires. I can confirm in Franskraal that four houses were completely destroyed by fire and in the area there were two structures that were damaged by the fires.In the Bettys Bay area, I can confirm that 31 houses were completely destroyed by the fires.— Lester Smith - Fire Chief in the Overstrand municipality
Smith says that the heavy rain that poured in the Cape last night made a huge difference in the putting out of the fires.
News24 journalist Julian Jansen shared this report from firefighters on the scene:
FIRE UPDATE on Saturday, 12.1.19 BETTYS BAY/KLEINMOND: A final inspection of all residential properties to ensure that every person was evacuated. This was done through the night whilst complete extinguishment of affected properties were being done. 31 Residential properties completely destroyed. 28 Properties sustained partial to major damage. It is estimated that more than 12800 Hectares of vegetation was destroyed. A full impact study will carried out to determine how much of the rare and endangered species of flora has been affected. Crews will remain on scene for some considerable time to ensure that the fire is completely extinguished. The overnight rain has allowed for rapid cooling of the burn area. Source: Firefighters on the scene; CCT
Click below to listen to the full interview: