Zuma praises Cape Town firefighters

2015-03-03 20:37
Fire fighters battle a fire near Hout Bay. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

Fire fighters battle a fire near Hout Bay. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday praised Cape Town firefighters for their bravery in combating fires that broke out in the Cape Peninsula over the weekend.

"We praise the bravery and professionalism of all our firefighters who are attending to this raging fire to save lives and stop the damage to property and our prestigious natural environment, putting their own lives at risk in the process," Zuma said in a statement.

Cape Town Disaster Risk Management said on Tuesday the firefighters were battling three areas, on the Hout Bay side of Chapman's Peak, Tokai Forest, and Noordhoek.

Spokesperson Charlotte Powell said rescue crews worked overnight. A helicopter was water bombing the Hout Bay fire on Tuesday.

"The fire is high up on the mountain and ground crews are dealing with sporadic flare ups. Two choppers in the Hout Bay area by Military Road are water bombing the area to protect the property."

The Hout Bay Civic Association on Tuesday thanked the firefighters, who had been working around the clock, for their courage and bravery.

The fire started on Sunday, was contained, but flared up again just after 02:00 on Monday in Muizenberg above Boyes Drive.

It was fanned by strong winds and spread to Ou Kaapse Weg, Chapman's Peak, Hout Bay, and Tokai.

One city firefighter had been admitted to hospital with burn wounds while 52 frail-care residents from the Noordhoek retirement village were treated for smoke inhalation.

Five homes had been destroyed along Silvermine Road in Noordhoek.

There was damage to parts of Tintswalo Lodge at the foot of Chapman's Peak.

The Western Cape environmental affairs department said an extra 250 firefighters were called in from across the Western Cape.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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