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Fires raging for days in the mountains around Cape Town are threatening historic South African wine estates, local media reported Tuesday.

The Cape Times reported firefighters suspect arson is to blame for fires burning in the Helderberg mountains, the latest in a string of blazes in the province spurred on by extreme heat and windy weather conditions.

A fire which broke out on the Lourensford Wine Estate is believed to have been started deliberately, and has spread to several other wine estates in Somerset West including the 300-year-old Vergelegen Wine Estate.

Some 300 firefighters are battling the blaze, expected to burn on for several days before it is brought under control.

Dense smoke was hindering fire fighting efforts on Tuesday as water-bombing helicopters could not be launched.

The fire front around the wine farms situated some 45 kilometres (27 miles) from Cape Town is said to be around 15 kilometres (nine miles) long, and cast a thick cloud of smoke over the seaside city on Monday.