Cape Town Nature Reserve Scorched as Fires Blaze for Sixth Day

Firefighters battled a blaze at the Cape Point Nature Reserve on Friday after managing to contain other fires that have scorched Cape Town’s southern peninsula since March 1.

“We have three helicopters, one water bomber and 100 firefighters at the fire line” in the reserve, Linton Rensburg, a spokesman for Working on Fire, the national fire management agency, said by phone. “It’s not a runaway fire at this stage, but I won’t say it’s fully contained.”

The fires have charred about 6,000 hectares (14,800 acres) of indigenous fynbos and other vegetation razed three homes and damaged 10 other properties, making it the worst such disaster since at least 2000 in South Africa’s second-largest city and biggest tourist destination. One firefighter sustained burns to his hands and face, while 52 people from an old-age home had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Fires that continue to burn in the mountainside above the coastal suburb of Muizenberg and some other areas are under control, Liezl Moodie, a spokeswoman for Cape Town’s fire and rescue services, said by phone.

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