Page last updated at 10:55 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Deadly blazes rage in Cape Town

A mountain fire blazes houses near Simons Town, Cape Town (Archive pic)
Dry weather conditions hamper firefighting at this time of year

Fires in the South African city of Cape Town have killed three people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Firefighters are continuing to battle the blazes which have hit 11 informal settlements and a holiday resort.

The BBC's Mohammed Allie in Cape Town says the fires are being fanned by strong winds and dry conditions.

"Prevailing weather conditions are... preventing aerial firefighting," the city's chief fire officer Ian Schnetler told the AFP news agency.

Our reporter says there is a haze over the city from the fires, some of which started over the weekend.

Dry conditions and gale force winds are common in Cape Town's summer, he says.

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