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18 Dec 2019 | 12:15 AM UTC

South Africa: Extremely dangerous fire warnings in central and southwestern provinces December 18

Weather Service issues extremely dangerous fire warnings for central and southwestern provinces on December 18; strong wind and associated disruptions expected

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ZAF

Event

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned of an extremely dangerous risk of fire in several areas across central and southwestern South Africa on Wednesday, December 18. The warning (highest on a four-tier scale) is in place for parts of North West, Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and Western Cape provinces. Orange fire warnings (second-highest on a four-tier scale) are also in place for several other areas across southern and eastern South Africa on Wednesday.

SAWS forecasts strong winds between 40-62 kph (25-39 mph) in a northwestern direction to impact Breede Valley, Langeberg, Central, and Little Karoo in Western Cape until late afternoon (local time) on Wednesday. Similar wind conditions are expected along the Cape Agulhus before blowing in a western to southwest direction along the southern coast on Thursday, December 19.

Transportation, power, and communication disruptions are possible in the affected areas in the coming hours and days. 

Advice

Individuals in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of warnings and weather alerts, anticipate transportation and power disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities, notably evacuation orders. As high temperatures are expected in the near-term, individuals are also advised to remain hydrated and minimize outdoor activities.