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Pieces of Africa – Cape Town Wildfires

Firefighters in South Africa are battling to control the wildfires raging through the southern peninsula of Cape Town. The fire, which started on Sunday, was under control at one point, but a larger fire broke out at around 2 a.m. on Monday.

Five homes were lost to the blaze and many more residents had to be evacuated, including the residents of three retirement communities. The Fire and Rescue Services of Cape Town, along with other agencies, have been working to control the fire with the use of ground crews and helicopters. High temperatures and winds added to the already dangerous situation on Monday, but the winds have lessened considerably and there is a chance of precipitation forecast for Wednesday.

SAfrica Fire

Iconic South African landmark, Table Mountain was completely engulfed in flames and the Tintswalo Atlantic beach lodge suffered massive damages. A fireman was injured during an explosion at the lodge, but he is said to be in stable condition and will be released from the hospital within days. Parts of Table Mountain are included in the Cape Floral Region protected areas because of their extraordinarily rich biodiversity. The fire will likely be devastating to such a fragile ecosystem as thousands of acres of rare and beautiful flora have been destroyed.

A representative of SANParks has praised Cape Town residents for their efforts, particularly citing the occasions where residents aided overworked firefighters by providing them with much needed food and drinks. While firefighters have gained control of the fire to some extent, it is likely that continuous effort will be needed for the rest of the week, depending on the weather conditions.

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