Wave of fires 'suspicious' – City of Cape Town

2017-01-17 16:04
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

GALLERY: Strong winds fuel Cape Town inferno

Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services fought a challenging battle against a fire in the Vredehoek area. Residents were advised to evacuate as firefighters attempts to control the fire were hindered by the extreme wind.

Cape Town – Investigations are underway to determine if the fires burning around Cape Town were intentionally started, a city official said on Tuesday.

“The spate of fires is truly suspicious and we have an investigations team that is looking into it,” safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said in a statement.  

The latest blaze, in Vredehoek, damaged four homes. It was the third extensive fire in the city within a week. A fire on Signal Hill was contained on Saturday. Fires in Simon’s Town destroyed two buildings on Wednesday.

“Where people notice suspicious activity, we encourage them to report that too because we cannot rule out the possibility that some fires are started deliberately,” Smith said.

The city estimated that the damage to the four Vredehoek homes was in the region of R4.5 million.

Between November 1, 2016 and January 12, Fire and Rescue Services responded to 5465 fires, an average of about 75 a day.

About 80% of these were classified as bush, grass, or rubbish fires.

Smith said firebreaks up to 200m wide were needed to stop fires from damaging buildings. He said firebreaks around properties affected by fires over the past few weeks had been mostly well maintained.

“However, with a freak wind like last night, you would have needed a fire break between 100m and 200m wide to stop the fire from crossing it,” Smith said.

He said on January 9, that poorly-maintained urban edges had complicated firefighting efforts in Somerset West.

"All fires are started by human activity; the issue is if it was started accidentally or is it started maliciously. So, we are investigating," Smith said at the time.

Meanwhile, firefighters had been deployed to Vakansieplaas, Mossel Bay. According to the Mossel Bay fire brigade, no buildings were currently at risk.


Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

/News
 

7 weirdly awesome pets you can own

If you think it’s too boring to own a cat or a dog, consider getting one of these pets.

 
 

Paws

Pack theory: fact or fiction?
Perfect dog-walking 1: Why dogs pull on the lead
SA stats: The role of pets in families
The top 6 poisonous foods for your pet
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.