Over 100 firefighters are battling to contain the Tsitsikamma fire in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. Photo: Working on Fire
Over 100 firefighters are battling to contain the Tsitsikamma fire in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. Photo: Working on Fire

Battle to contain Tsitsikamma fire in the Eastern Cape rages on

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Jun 22, 2021

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Cape Town - Over 100 firefighters are still trying to contain the Tsitsikamma fire in the Eastern Cape province which broke out on Monday along the N2 highway.

Since the outbreak, teams from Working on Fire (WoF), a programme attached to the department of forestry, fisheries and environment, have been working in partnership with the Southern Cape Fire Protection alongside MTO (Mountain to Ocean Plantation) Forestry and South African National Parks to tame the fire, WoF communications officer Nthasbiseng Mokone said in a statement.

Some 134 firefighters, two helicopters and a fixed-wing spotter plane were hard at work late Monday afternoon, but strong north west winds made it extremely difficult to contain the fire, she said.

On Tuesday, over 100 firefighters from six teams were still battling the blaze.

“The wind is calm at the moment and the Fire Danger Index (FDI) is standing at yellow this morning. Firefighters are busy constructing a control like that will assist in preventing fires from reaching other areas,” Mokone said.

Previously, Mokone said the FDI -- a rating system that indicates the fire risk for a specific area -- was high in most parts of the province.

The FDI is designated in five colours and helps residents know which days are safe to burn things, ranging from blue which indicates a low fire hazards to red which means it is extremely dangerous to start a fire that day.

Mokone said the cause of the Tsitsikamma fire was still unknown at this stage, but confirmed no structures had been damaged.

The N2 highway had been reopened on Tuesday morning, she added however urging motorists to be cautious when passing through the area.

African News Agency (ANA)

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