Runaway veld fires have torn across parts of the Northern Cape this week, with the blaze spreading more than 100km since it was first discovered on Saturday. The flames are approaching the town of Kimberley as of Tuesday morning, and firefighters now face an uphill battle to protect livestock and crops.
Latest news and updates from the N12 fires
Hot, dry, and windy conditions have aided and abetted the inferno as it wreaks havoc across the province. From what we’ve been told by emergency response teams in the Northern Cape, the fires are travelling quickly:
- The fire reportedly started on Saturday towards the Schmidtsdrift area.
- Originating about 80fm west of Kimberley, the fires are now ‘within 10km’ of the Northern Cape’s biggest city.
- The blaze then spread an additional 100 kilometres towards Hopetown, within the last 48 hours.
- The veld fire has spread rapidly from the Douglas road towards Magersfontein
- The N8 between Kimberley and Petrusburg had also been closed on Monday night.
Watch: Wild fires rip through the Northern Cape
— SA emergency reports (@MARIUSBROODRYK) September 28, 2021
— FGVDK (@franzypanz) September 27, 2021
— Ulrich Hendriks (@UlrichHendriks) September 27, 2021
Northern Cape inferno: Road closures, injuries reported
A leading emergency response team at the scene, Emer-G-Med, has reported that at least one firefighter has been hospitalised for smoke inhalation. Several civilians have also suffered a similar fate, with some locals needing treatment for burns as well. Both the N8 and N12 in the Northern Cape have large sections closed off.
“Severe grass fires were raging yesterday in the Kimberley area. A number of patients have been transported to local hospitals for smoke inhalation and burns during the course of the day. Parts of the N12 highway are also closed.”