Firefighters battle Cape blazes

Firefighters were on Tuesday battling a blaze on national park land just north of Cape Point.

Table Mountain National Park fire chief Philip Prins said the fire started on the north side of Plateau Road, and was reported to fire control at 9.20am.

“It’s still burning out of control; we haven’t contained it yet,” he said just before 10.30am.

The fire, fanned by a strong wind, was moving up the mountain.

Prins said although it was not threatening any homes, it could pose a threat to a defence force installation in Klawer Valley if it crossed the mountain.

Earlier on Tuesday, Cape Town’s disaster risk management centre said firefighters were still battling a runaway fire at Gordon’s Bay.

“City firefighters have been busy with firefighting operations since 3am on Monday and throughout the night. They are still busy bringing the fire under control,” said spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.

The fire started in the Overberg district area and spread to the Steenbras Dam catchment area.

Solomons-Johannes said two houses were damaged and one gutted by the blaze. Available standby and off-duty firefighters were called to help—bringing the number to 150.

Residents living along the Gordon’s Bay mountain slopes were evacuated at about 7pm on Monday.

Solomons-Johannes said 54 firefighting trucks and a contingent of law-enforcement officials were sent to the scene.

The South African Weather Service indicated that the current weather conditions were unlikely to change within the next 24 hours, which could hamper the efforts of firefighters.

“This situation once again illustrates the need for citizens to exercise extreme caution to reduce fire risk when such dry and windy conditions are being experienced,” said Solomons-Johannes.

Residents were urged to exercise caution in the vicinity of fires.

“We are keeping a watchful eye on all the fires ...
The South African National Defence and air force has been requested to be on standby to assist with aerial firefighting.”

Life-threatening emergencies could be reported to the city’s public emergency communications centre on 107 on a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.—Sapa

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