Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

South Africa evacuates coastal communities as wildfires burn out of control

Firefighters battle wildfires in Pringle Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa, on Tuesday (AP)
Firefighters battle wildfires in Pringle Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa, on Tuesday (AP)

Residents have been evacuated from small coastal towns near Cape Town in South Africa as wildfires sweep down from surrounding mountains and burn out of control.

Authorities ordered a full evacuation of Pringle Bay, a coastal village popular with holidaymakers about 50 miles from Cape Town, on Tuesday.

People evacuated parts of the nearby town of Betty’s Bay on Monday.

Wildfires are relatively common in the mountain ranges around Cape Town and further down the coast in the South African summer, but it is unusual for towns to be completely evacuated.

The fires began on Monday and were fuelled by the hot, dry weather and strong coastal winds.

Annelie Rabie, mayor of the Overstrand municipality which oversees the towns, said as many as six wildfires had broken out in the area.

Four were contained or extinguished, she said, but one was heading straight for Pringle Bay.

A helicopter drops water as firefighters battle wildfires in Pringle Bay on Tuesday
A helicopter drops water as firefighters battle wildfires in Pringle Bay on Tuesday (AP)

The Overstrand government said a small number of homes have been gutted.

No injuries have been reported but authorities issued a code red, meaning the fires presented a serious and immediate danger to people and property.

Around 95% of a nearby nature reserve had also burned, the government said.

Residents of Pringle Bay were moving to a nearby town, local authorities said, while firefighters battled to get remaining fires under control. Helicopters were scooping up water from the ocean and dumping it on the fires, a common tactic in the region.

Wildfires broke out in numerous parts of South Africa’s Western Cape province in recent weeks, including one over the weekend on the slopes of the world-famous Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town. It was quickly brought under control.

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment said its firefighting crews were working on wildfires in four regions of the Western Cape. One fire had been burning for nine days.

A huge fire swept across Table Mountain in 2021, causing extensive damage and taking days to put out.

The main causes of the wildfires are discarded cigarettes, people lighting cooking fires or burning debris, and sometimes arson, according to the Western Cape local government. Coastal winds fan the blazes and can make them unpredictable.