UPDATE: More fires expected on Thursday as heat persists

MBOMBELA – The fires that raged around the Lowveld yesterday have been contained, but Lefpa expects them to flare up again later today.

Lefpa manager, André Scheepers, said this morning that they expected the wind to pick up later today which would cause the fires to flare up again.

Farms near Sabie and Hilltop, farms and plantations in the area of Sudwala and Rosehaugh and plantations outside Barberton near the Swaziland border, have been affected.

Scheepers warned the public to be cautious, and not work with heavy machinery, as any spark could cause a fire to start.

BREAKING NEWS: 83-year-old dies in Hilltop house fire, September 12, 18:08

HILLTOP – It has just been confirmed that an 83-year-old man, who’s identity will not be divulged until the family have been notified, died during a fire this afternoon.

Though it could not be confirmed, it is alleged that he died of smoke inhalation.

DA Councilor Tersia Marshall, who was on the scene shortly after his death, said that a nearby fire engulfed his home in the Hilltop area.

More information will be given as soon as it becomes available.

Wednesday 15:30

MBOMBELA – A black cloud of smoke is hanging over the city.

André Scheepers, Lowveld and Escarpment Fire Protection Association (Lefpa) manager, has just confirmed that three fires are still raging in Valencia, Sudwala and Hilltop. Another fire erupted on the R37 near Rosehaugh.

This Hilltop residence is engulfed by flames. It is not clear whether anyone was inside at the time.

 

Lowvelder will update readers on further developments.

Today at 15:00

MBOMBELA – Fire season has reached it peak, with at least three different fires in and around the city being reported this afternoon.

André Scheepers, Lowveld and Escarpment Fire Protection Association (Lefpa) manager, said his teams were attending a fire in town behind Valencia Wholesalers.

 

Another fire was raging near Sudwala and a third in the Hilltop area.

The smoke is town was visible all over. Scheepers said it seemed as though tyres were burning in town. He cautioned the public to stay away.

“If people are worried their houses are threatened, they can turn on the sprayers. We are not evacuating anyone at this time.”

This video, also of a blazing fire, was taken in the Sabie area:

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