Up to 10,000 people have been evacuated from a scenic coastal town in South Africa that has been devastated by wildfires, officials have said. Military equipment was being deployed to douse more than 25 fires in Knysna, they added.

At least eight people have been killed in the storms and fires that have been raging in the town and other areas of the Western Cape region. Strong winds from the worst winter storm in 30 years fuelled the fires.

At least 150 properties have been destroyed in Knysna, according to the fire service. The town has a population of 77,000. It lies 500km (310 miles) east of Cape Town on South Africa’s famed Garden Route.

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