Slopes, famous vineyard region burnt in South Africa’s wildfires

January 5, 2017 10:30 pm

In this photo taken on January 4, 2017, a wildfire is fought in Somerset West near Cape Town, . (Photo by AP)

Wildfires have raged in mountain slopes in South ’s Cape Town, inflicting damage on a famous vineyard region established around 300 years ago.
Authorities said Thursday that firefighters worked through the night to try to contain 106 blazes in Helderberg, one of South Africa’s oldest estates.
No casualties were reported but reports said the Vergelegen farm, a famous region established by Dutch settlers in the 1700s, saw some 40 percent damage in the fire.
The blazes also struck slopes above Cape Town’s exclusive beach enclave of Llandudno.
Evacuations began Tuesday morning when fire started to near the buildings around Helderberg. Residents were allowed to return a day later although emergency crews remained on high alert. Reports on Thursday suggested the fire was definitely contained. 

In this photo taken on January 4, 2017, a helicopter drops water over wildfires burning in the mountains in Somerset West near Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by AP)

There has been no report about the cause of the recent wildfires.
The summer season creates prime conditions for wildfires in South Africa’s western region with low rainfall and dry vegetation, and strong winds are mostly responsible for the unbearable blazes.
Two years ago, similar in Cape Town’s Table Mountain lasted for nearly two weeks. The incident was blamed on arson.
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