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PICS: 43,000 hectares destroyed as Kimberley fire spreads to Free State
Community members who attempted to quell the fire have been ‘completely overrun’, a spokesperson said.
The fire blazing through the Northern Cape – which originated near Kimberley on Saturday – has now reached the Free State, leaving behind approximately 43,000 hectares of scorched land.
Kimberley fire update
A firefighter and a resident have been hospitalised due to smoke inhalation and burn wounds.
The firefighter – one of more than 200 deployed to the region – was placed on advanced life support by Emer-G-Med personnel at the scene.
Major roads and routes have been closed and motorists were urged to avoid the area.
Fire spreads to Free State
As per the Free State Umbrella Fire Protection Association spokesperson, Johan Breytenbach, the fire crossed into the Free State province between Jacobsdal and Kimberley.
Breytenbach said the fire was still “actively spreading in an easterly direction”. He said suppressing the blaze had proven to be “extremely difficult”.
He said farmers and community members who attempted to quell the fire had been “completely overrun and unable to bring the fire under control”.
He warns: “Assessment of the current situation is ongoing but flare-ups over large areas is highly probable due to the prevailing weather conditions”.
Farmers and residents from Douglas, Hopetown, Strydenburg, Orania, Luckhoff, Koffiefontein and Kimberley banded together to battle the blaze, to no avail.
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