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Firefighters battle major wildfire near Cape Town, South Africa

Firefighters battle wildfire near Cape Town, South Africa's naval base at risk

Hundreds of firefighters are battling a wildfire that spread across a mountain near Cape Town, endangering South Africa’s largest naval base and leading to the evacuation of nearby houses.

On Wednesday, December 20, 2023, hundreds of firefighters engaged in a massive effort to contain a wildfire that has ravaged a mountain area near Cape Town, posing a threat to South Africa’s largest naval base in Simon’s Town. Five of the more than 300 firefighters involved in the operation have sustained injuries, according to authorities.

Three helicopters were deployed to assist in water bombing the area, as strong winds intensified the fire, causing damage to one building within the Simon’s Town Naval Base. The situation led to the evacuation of nearly 40 houses in the vicinity during the early hours of Wednesday.

Simon’s Town, located approximately 45 km (28 miles) south of Cape Town, is situated in a region prone to wildfires, particularly in the key wine-growing districts. The fire started on Tuesday, originating from the mountain slopes near the seaside town.

As the fire spread further down Millers Point, Rocklands, and Plateau Road by 14:00 local time on December 20, major roads leading to the Cape of Good Hope/Cape Point and Simon’s Town were closed. Motorists have been advised to avoid the area as much as possible.

With the expectation of stronger wind gusts later in the day and overnight, additional firefighting resources have been requested.

YouTube video

References:

1 Cape Town: Hundreds of firefighters battling blaze in South African city – Sky News – December 20, 2023

2 Simon’s Town fire update: Road closures as blaze flares up again – capetownetc – December 20, 2023

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