Pietermaritzburg -

Three days after fires swept through the capital city in a tornado of heat and wind, the Pietermaritzburg skyline was still blurred with a haze of smoke on Sunday.

The landfill site in New England Road in Lincoln Meade continued to smoulder and burn by late yesterday afternoon, despite Friday’s cooler weather and spattering of rain.

The fire department was on high alert over the weekend, with crews monitoring the blaze at the landfill as toxic fumes continued to pervade the homes of residents in the area.

Lincoln Meade resident, Daphne Abrahams, said her 45-year-old husband had to be hospitalised at the weekend for a respiratory problem because of the thick smoke and “awful stench”.

“My husband suffers with asthma… Even with our doors and windows closed we could not escape the fumes.”

Firefighters who spoke to the Daily News from the landfill yesterday said they hoped the pockets of fire would be out completely by this afternoon.

“We are trying our best and have been working around the clock to ensure that it is kept under control, but it is difficult to put out as we have to turn the waste whilst dampening it down, which takes a long time,” firefighter, Essack Khan, said.

On Thursday, searing temperatures and gale-force winds resulted in fires breaking out all over Pietermaritzburg.

At least 140 people were left homeless at the Woodstock Road informal settlement when 70 shacks were razed.