The large Du Toitskloof fire in Paarl, South Africa, has continued to rage for a fourth day, its billowing clouds of smoke visible over Cape Town.
The fire broke out on Tuesday, and while firefighters managed to get another fire at Franschhoek under control, the Du Toitskloof Fire has continued to blaze, with strong winds fuelling flames. The winds let up temporarily on Friday afternoon, allowing helicopter to fly from 14h30.
Award-winning photographer Justin Sullivan captured the above photo on Friday morning “after a fierce overnight battle by Emergency Services & Land Owners”.
Later today, at sunset, SAPeople contributor Elza Bester DeJager photographed the below scene of Table Mountain. Elza says: “Heavy smoke hangs over Cape Town from a bush fire raging at the moment at du Toitskloof and Paarl 60km away.”
According to the latest fire update, the Cape Winelands District Municipality’s (CWDM) Fire Services are continuing to battle the fire in the Du Toit’s Kloof Pass area, with the fireline remaining out of control. Active fire fighting is continuing throughout the night.
Protecting the farms is a major focus with CapeNature and the Fire Protection Association (FPA) working closely with landowners to help prevent property damage.
There is “grave concern” that the winds will pick up during the night and cause flare-ups in areas that have already been beaten down.
CWDM’s Jo-Anne Otto said in the update that “as soon as they can, the fire teams will move over to the opposite side of the N1 to attend the fire line on the Wemmershoek side.
“Approximately 3500 hectares of mixed fynbos has burned.”
No evacuation orders have been issued and the Huguenot Tunnel is open again for traffic.
She said there are currently, 4 helicopters, 70 ground team members, 37 Fire Fighters and 18 fire vehicles on scene.
UPDATE: Here’s Saturday’s Du Toitskloof Fire update.
Our thoughts and gratitude are with all the firefighters and their support out there tonight!!!