Cape Town – Emergency services were kept on their toes on Wednesday afternoon as 11 fires spread around the City of Cape Town.
Private emergency service ER24 said at least 22 people were injured as a fire raged through the Badberg Mountains and the Goudini Spa resort in the Slanghoek Valley.
According to city officials, the two biggest fires were in Somerset West and Simon’s Town. A fire in Ocean View was extinguished. In Somerset West, helicopters water-bombed areas inaccessible to ground crews.
The city said although the fires had been contained, there were sporadic flare-ups.
Emergency services in Simon’s Town established that the blaze started in Kommetjie Road, Ocean View.
The NSRI helped prevent the fire spreading to the Rotary Camp buildings in Glencairn. Two pumps were set up to suck water out of the Rotary Camp pool and spray the flames while helicopters dumped water on the fire. The Rotary Camp buildings were saved.
NSRI Simon’s Town station commander Darren Zimmerman said teams were sent to fight several fires.
“Residents and members of the public have been fantastic in their assistance and with food and refreshment donations and businesses in the area are being extremely helpful,” he said.
Simon’s Town residents helped save tortoises, cobras, and other snakes. Three buck reportedly died.
Around 50 horses were evacuated from a stable. City officials said the SPCA and law enforcement agencies helped the animals.
While there were moments of panic and stress, residents banded together to put out fires in the area.
“It just happens. When the wind came up it was suddenly on us,” Welcome Glen resident Ralph Wallach told News24 while throwing sand on burning embers.
Gordon Spenceley, also a Welcome Glen resident, said locals were getting together to try to put out the fire. He was battling the blaze when News24 spoke to him.
Taugeeda Abdurahman, 19, said she had returned from the beach to find the fire raging.
“I am concerned about the animals. We have been fighting the fire for an hour now. My shoes are melting a little, but I am not really scared.”
City officials said fire and rescue services and Table Mountain National Parks staff would remain on alert throughout the night.
Helicopters would be ready to take off again and resume water-bombing, if needed, at first light on Thursday.
Some road closures would remain in place overnight. They included: Glencairn Expressway between Kommetjie Road and Main Road, and Red Hill Road between Main Road and Scarborough Road due to rockfalls.