Shelton April, the man accused of causing the fatal fire in the Overstrand, will remain behind bars until his next court appearance.

The 34-year-old appeared in the Caledon Magistrates Court on Monday on accusations of contravening the National Environmental Management Act.

It is alleged that the man started the fire when he set off a flare on New Year’s Eve.

So far, the blaze has claimed the life of a 59-year old woman in Pringle Bay, who died from smoke inhalation last week, while at least two other people have been injured.

The man’s next hearing has been postponed in order to finalise his charge sheet and issues over his bail proceedings.

He is expected back in court on January 14, where two more charges could be laid against him, EWN reports.

More than 5 000 hectares of vegetation have been destroyed by the fires.

Large parts of the original fire were contained late on Sunday, however it has since moved from Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Kleinmond to the Kogel Bay area.

Cape Town fire fighting crews have joined the firefighters in the Kogel Bay and Overstrand areas in the battle to contain the growing blaze.

“There have been no further fatalities and no further damage to property. However, a proper full assessment will be done once the fire has been completely distinguished,” Fire and Rescue Services’ Theo Layne told EWN.

On Monday, two choppers water-bombed the mountain slopes of the Kogel Bay Nature Reserve where the fire was too high for firefighters to access by foot.

Footage of the helicopter gathering water was captured, as seen in the video below.


Picture: Twitter/ Greater Overberg FPA

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