Deadly brush fires hit South Africa

Deadly brush fires hit South Africa

3 September 2008

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South Africa — At least 32 people have been killed in wind-driven brush fires in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Thousands of animals have also died, the South African Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.

More deaths were reported in Swaziland and Mozambique, the BBC said.

KwaZulu-Natal, on the northeast coast of South Africa, was the region hit hardest by the fires. In addition to the toll in human life, the fires have cost millions of dollars for firefighting, relief and damage to buildings and farms.

Phumlani Lodge, a hotel that had been turned over to land claimants, was one of the casualties, SABC reported. An artist living near Nelspruit lost his house and 30 oil paintings stored inside.

An official told the BBC that in one area in the province 179 houses had been destroyed.

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