Cape Town fires: Weather hampers fire fighting as blaze spreads

2017-10-14 10:50
A firefighter silhouetted by the fires raging in Camps Bay. (Justin Sullivan/Sullivan Photography)

A firefighter silhouetted by the fires raging in Camps Bay. (Justin Sullivan/Sullivan Photography)

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Cape Town – Low-lying clouds and shifting winds are hampering fire-fighting activities against a blaze that continues to rage through the Table Mountain National Park.

"The fire is not yet contained," said Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) fire manager Philip Prins.

Prins said the fire has spread overnight, coming over the mountain and going down Myburgh ravine to Orange Kloof. It started on Wednesday.

“It is burning above Orange Kloof as well as on Judas Peak and Grootkop,” he said.

“Unfortunately strong north-westerly winds and low-lying clouds that have left most of the mountain covered are hampering fire-fighting efforts,” he said.

Prins said due to the low cloud cover, the three helicopters which had flown in from George to assist with the operation, were unable to conduct any aerial assaults on the fires.

Hikers have also been cautioned to stay off the mountains.

Prins advised motorists to exercise caution and listen to traffic updates for the latest information, as well as to follow instructions of personnel at the scene of the fire. 

He said people should avoid areas where the fire was burning if at all possible.

Prins said while Victoria Drive had been reopened to traffic late last night, the fire was proving unpredictable due to erratic winds and conditions could change.

He added that while the 12 Apostles Hotel remained closed, conditions there were looking good.

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Working on Fire will be providing 80 firefighters, three Huey helicopters and a spotter plane, which has been placed on standby.


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