One dead and one seriously burned in Southern Cape
CAPE TOWN, South Africa – One firefighter has been killed and another injured while fighting wildfires that have already claimed four other victims.
Independent Media and the African News Agency report that one firefighter died due to burns on at least 70% of his body while fighting a wildfire in the Knysna area in Southern Cape. The injured firefighter suffered burns to 50% of his body.
It is with great sadness that I have to report the loss of 1 of our own. Brad Richards passed away after sustaining burns in Knysna Fire pic.twitter.com/HX3YGyTZlX
— Wildfire Support (@FWSfire) June 9, 2017
A least five fire-related deaths are now attached to the wildfire that has destroyed over 500 homes and caused the evacuation of over 7,000 people, according to a SANParks spokesperson.
The wildfires were sparked by severe weather that hit the coastal area on Wednesday. Gale force winds, lightning and torrential rains caused damage in Cape Town and surrounding areas.
Authorities deployed helicopters and other aircraft to battle the fires but weather and smoke have hampered their operations.
Wildfires engulf most parts of Knysna fires engulf most parts of the area, eNCA
Knysna farm damaged following fires, SABC Digital News