SOMERSET WEST WILDFIRES
Blaze guts 40% of wine estate
Wildfires tearing across Somerset West in the Western Cape have damaged one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious wine farms. Parts of Vergelegen, Anglo American’s 300-year-old farm, were scorched by fires fanned by strong winds. The farm’s CEO, Don Tooth, said 40% of the property had been burnt and much of the fynbos conservation area — which makes up two-thirds of the farm — had been ravaged by the fires, which were still raging on Wednesday afternoon. Cape Town fire and rescue services spokesman Theo Lane said 120 firefighters were being assisted by crews from Working on Fire and CapeNature. He said 22 vehicles‚ three helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft had been dispatched in an attempt to douse the inferno.