Task team to probe 'suspicious' fires across Cape Peninsula

2016-01-13 14:30
A helicopter releases a water-bomb over a fire above Oceanview. (Photo supplied by City of Cape Town)

A helicopter releases a water-bomb over a fire above Oceanview. (Photo supplied by City of Cape Town)

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Cape Town – A task team has been set up in Cape Town to investigate multiple fires across the peninsula.

The team was set up after various agencies expressed concern for malicious fire-starting, said SANParks Cape Region spokesperson Tarcia Hendricks.

Its intent was to ensure that credible evidence was collected which would lead to successful prosecutions.

She said the team included the city’s fire and rescue service, the Special Investigation Unit and the Saps.

Preliminary clues on this week’s fires at Devil’s Peak and Ocean View indicated they were most likely started by vagrants on the mountain who made illegal fires for cooking.

“These fires span out of control when the winds suddenly pick up and the surrounding dry vegetation catches fire.”

Hendricks indicated that incidents on private land would also be investigated should fires spread onto public land.

Western Cape police confirmed the investigation of recent fires was centralised to the office of provincial detectives.

“The investigation of these incidents is yet to be finalised and as yet there are no new developments to report at this stage,” said police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut.

The task team was expected to meet again next week. 

Table Mountain National Park fire manager Philip Prins asked the public to exercise caution during fire season, which would last until May.

He said people should only braai in designated areas, discard their cigarette butts safely and not make any illegal fires.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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