Firefighters battle flames as wind picks up - As it happened

2015-03-05 20:15

Current estimates are that the infrastructure damage in the National Park alone, since the fires started is already more than R5m, according to SANParks


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Last Updated at 02:29
05 Mar 20:39

05 Mar 20:15

05 Mar 20:15

05 Mar 19:57

05 Mar 18:24

05 Mar 18:10
TRAFFIC UPDATE: Chapmans Peak remains closed. Zwaanswyk Road is closed to traffic. Scarborough Main Road has been re-opened.

05 Mar 17:56

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05 Mar 16:41

Tough scenes here in tokai. #muizenbergfire

A photo posted by Michael Rippon (@michaelrippon19) on

05 Mar 16:40
TRAFFIC UPDATE: Ou Kaapse Weg and Boyes Drive are open to traffic. Please exercise caution along these roads.

05 Mar 16:40
TRAFFIC UPDATE: Chapmans Peak remains closed. Scarborough Road and Circular Drive is Closed.

05 Mar 16:13

05 Mar 16:10

Announcement from SANParks – TMNP:

The cost of containing the multiple fires on Table Mountain National Park continues to rise. Current estimates are that the infrastructure damage in the National Park alone, since the fires started is already more than R5m.

Some consequences of the fire include that Upper Tokai Road remains closed in the interest of the safety of the public.

We understand that hikers, cyclist, horse riders and dog walkers are eager to use the area, but there are several trees damaged by the fire that are falling down; as well as embers being swept up by the wind and blown around. While we are battling to get this fire under control, fire fighters are now dealing with another headache.

Another fire in the Cape Point Section of Table Mountain National Park that was contained overnight has flared up again. Two helicopters are currently on site and additional crews have been diverted to the area. Multiple teams from Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), department of environmental affairs - Working on Fire teams as well as the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) continue to battle the fire.

More than 200 flying hours have been logged and the direct cost of trying to contain the fires is currently at R4m and includes the manpower costs. In addition, four helicopters, two water bombers and one spotter plane have been up in the air since Sunday trying to contain the fire.

Containment remains a challenge as there are still many small areas across the landscape with smouldering logs which can become a threat depending on wind speed and direction.

Untrained members of the public has been asked not to volunteer to assist with firefighting efforts as this will put their safety and the safety of trained firefighting officials at risk.  


05 Mar 16:06

05 Mar 15:46

Public Works commends Working on Fire team

The department of public works has commended its Expanded Public Works Programme's (EPWP) Working on Fire team that is part of the operation battling to extinguish the devastating fires raging in Cape Town.  

Public Works Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin said the Working on Fire programme is one of the flagship programmes of the EPWP.

Over 1 000 Working on Fire participants from various provinces have joined the operation.

“We are proud of the work done by our EPWP participants in Cape Town. They have joined with various organisations and the people of Cape Town to extinguish the ongoing fires in the Southern Peninsula,” he said.

Deputy Director-General of the EPWP in the national Department of Public Works, Stanley Henderson, said: “This is what we mean when we say that EPWP is a programme of the people of South Africa and therefore it responses to all societal challenges.

“We are truly proud of the work done by the DEA [Department of Environmental Affairs] in conserving our environment and saving the lives and property that is at risk of being guttered by these fires.”

The areas that are affected by the fires include Muizenberg, Bredasdorp, Tulbagh, Hermanus and parts of the Southern Cape.  

The Working on Fire teams are working with other fire fighters from Volunteer Wild Fire Services, the Table Mountain National Park and local municipalities. -

05 Mar 15:43

05 Mar 15:42

05 Mar 15:37
News24 spoke to a divisional commander in the Cape Town fire department to find out just how the city is co-ordinating the firefighting efforts against the Cape peninsula blaze.

05 Mar 15:32

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05 Mar 15:29
The City of Cape Town reported that the flare-ups from the fire are very minor and are under control.

05 Mar 15:20

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05 Mar 15:13

The firefighting efforts in the South Peninsula have been scaled back on Thursday, the City of Cape Town said.

"Firefighters are continuing to monitor hotspots for flare-ups in the South Peninsula this morning," mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said in a statement.

"Currently, 10 ground crews continue to manage the situation in Constantia. A few ground crews are also on duty in Clovelly and along Boyes Drive, between Lakeside and Kalk Bay."

He said a stop-go system was in place on Boyes Drive but Chapman's Peak Drive remained closed because it was "unsafe" for road users.

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

It spread to Ou Kaapse Weg, Chapman's Peak, Hout Bay, and Tokai. Smith said the city's Fire Safety Division confirmed on Wednesday that 13 properties were affected by the fire.

These included the Tintswalo Lodge at the foot of Chapman's Peak. Three of the properties - two in Constantia and one in Noordhoek - have been completely destroyed. - Sapa

05 Mar 14:59

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05 Mar 14:34
Cape Point fire has flared up again. A water bomber as well as firefighting teams remain on site still trying to contain the fire. - SANParks

05 Mar 13:25

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05 Mar 11:53

Fire and Rescue spokesperson Theo Layne though has said that there is nothing to worry about.

The hotspots are still in a manageable position, and the post is an 'overreaction'.

05 Mar 11:42
A message from the Hout Bay Community Policing Forum:

05 Mar 11:40

05 Mar 11:40

05 Mar 10:38

Cape Town Disaster Risk Management says the Muizenberg fire that broke out over the weekend is under control, and firefighters are dealing with hotspots in Clovelly and Constantia north.

"The crews remained through the night and this morning [Thursday] helicopters will go out and inspect the area but currently the fire is under control."

05 Mar 10:33

05 Mar 10:33

05 Mar 09:34

News24 won't be updating as regularly on this live update, as there are currently no new developments.

We will ensure to update you as soon as new news breaks on the Cape fires.

See the latest status report below from the Fire and Rescue team in Cape Town, as well as the latest report of an unrelated fire breaking out at an office building in Newlands, Cape Town.

05 Mar 09:24
News24 has compiled a separate report on the unrelated fire that has broken out at the Great Westerford building in Newlands, Cape Town.

05 Mar 09:17

Update on Cape peninsula fires:

Fire and Rescue spokesperson Theo Layne has confirmed that firefighters are still winning the battle against the Cape fire along the south peninsula.

Firefighters are monitoring and maintaining hotspot areas, which include Clovelly, Monkey Valley in Noordhoek and Eagle's Nest in Constantia.

The fires are under control at present.

05 Mar 08:57

Eyewitnesses on the scene say the third floor of the Great Westerford building is completely gone.

The fire is reportedly unrelated to the Cape fires currently under control on the south peninsula.

05 Mar 08:54

More images of the reported fire in Newlands, Cape Town. The roof of the Great Westerford building is approximately half burnt, Twitter users are saying.

The fire is unrelated to the fires burning on the Cape peninsula.

05 Mar 08:50

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05 Mar 08:47

05 Mar 08:46

05 Mar 08:44
More pictures from the unrelated fire allegedly at the Great Westerford building in Newlands, Cape Town.

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