Cape Town inferno: Maintenance of fire site a centuries-old debate

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Firefighters battle the blaze at the HM Pearson, Fuller and Jagger Library buildings at the University of Cape Town's Rondebosch campus on Sunday 18 April.
Firefighters battle the blaze at the HM Pearson, Fuller and Jagger Library buildings at the University of Cape Town's Rondebosch campus on Sunday 18 April.

A study prepared for the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2012 said the forest area of the university had not been proactively managed and recommended urgent intervention not only to protect the environment, but also to reduce risk of a massive flare-up.

The report's relevance is once again being discussed almost a decade later, after a massive mountain fire devoured parts of the mountain on Sunday, leaving six firefighters injured, while at least nine people were treated for smoke inhalation.

UCT reported four buildings have been damaged – the Jagger Reading Room (previously the JW Jagger Library), the HW Pearson Building, Fuller Hall and Smuts Hall student residences.

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