Overstrand fires: Franskraal residents ordered to evacuate

Residents of Franskraal on the coastal Overstrand region in the Western Cape were ordered on Friday to evacuate after a wildfire flared up in the area.

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The municipality, which is approximately 90km away from the Betty's Bay area, issued an emergency warning message around lunchtime on Friday, warning residents that the fire was out of control and spreading fast.

"Overstrand Municipality has designated the Gansbaai Tourism Office Hall as your emergency evacuation center (sic). The evacuation center is located at: Great White Junction (SPAR Centre), Main Road, Gansbaai," read a message from the municipality.

Residents were ordered to gather family members, individuals, pets and only essential items.

They were also asked to bring essential medication with, turn off all appliances and lights and lock their doors.

Roads closed

"For your safety, please leave your neighbourhood immediately and drive to the home of a friend or family member outside of the evacuation area."

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said at around 14:30 that the fires near Betty's Bay remained under control.

The Fransksraal fire, however, has caused the R43 to be closed between Franskraal and Stanford.

Strong winds were fanning the flames in the area. No damage to property had been reported at that stage.

A third fire in the Karwyderskraal area is also being attended to.

The R44 between Betty's Bay and Rooi Els was also closed on Friday afternoon.

This is a developing story.