South African firefighters battle wildfire for a third day

AP News
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Posted: Mar 03, 2015 9:35 AM
South African firefighters battle wildfire for a third day

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A wildfire burned for a third day around Cape Town's Table Mountain on Tuesday, injuring a firefighter as it caused an explosion at a lodge, an emergency services spokeswoman said.

At first light, helicopters began dropping water onto the flames, spokeswoman Liezl Moodie said.

"He is stable and will be released probably by Friday," Moodie said of the firefighter injured at the beach lodge.

No civilians have been injured, and no deaths have been reported, although five homes have been destroyed since the fire began, Moodie said.

About 150 firefighters are struggling to bring the wildfire under control, made worse by sweltering summer temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

"We are humbled by the dedication shown by these brave men and women and welcome reports of rain on Wednesday," the Hout Bay Civic Association, a community organization of residents affected by the fire, said in a statement.

The provincial government is planning to bring in 250 extra firefighters from other parts of the country, the South African Press Association reported. Thousands of acres of plants were also destroyed as the fire ripped through a national park.

The wildfire started on Sunday and was briefly brought under control, but a bigger fire started early on Monday morning, said the press association.