CAPE TOWN — At least seven people have died in a raging wildlife fire in a rural community along the popular Garden Route in southern South Africa.

Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Services announced that a baby and an eight-month-old pregnant woman were among the victims. .

Member of the Western Cape Local Government and Environmental Affairs Executive Council, Anton Bredel, said their present priority is to save lives and protect property.

“Yesterday we stood at roundabout 16,600 hectares that we’ve lost. Today we had 48,000 hectares. So currently our first priority is to protect the public and our firemen and fire women working on the lines.”

“We’ve looked at the Eskom lines so that we can have electricity and energy in our towns of Knysna, Oudtshoorn and George. So the teams are doing quite well. We have unfortunately lost eight lives, that’s very sad, because it’s still our first priority to save lives and to protect our infrastructure.”

Firefighters continued fighting the bonfire 450km east of Cape Town. The raging fire that began last week has burned 16,600 hectares and led to the evacuation of three suburbs, where about 1,500 people lived.



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