UPDATE | Evacuations under way in Cape Town as runaway fire spreads to Devil's Peak, Vredehoek

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  • Evacuations are taking place as a runaway fire moves across Table Mountain.
  • The fire spread to Devil's Peak and Vredehoek by Monday morning.
  • On Sunday, the blaze damaged historical buildings at UCT.

Evacuations are under way in Cape Town as strong winds spread a runaway fire across Table Mountain.

On Monday morning, the fire had reportedly spread toward Devil's Peak and the front face of the mountain, affecting the suburb of Vredehoek and surrounding areas.

City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management Centre spokesperson Charlotte Powell confirmed evacuations were under way.

fire cape town
The City of Cape Town's Fire and Rescue Service are still trying to contain the fire on Table Mountain. (Photo: Jess Littlewood)

Powell was not able to divulge further details at the time of publication but said information would be shared when it was available.

Firefighting efforts were likely to be further hampered by strong winds during the day, with the south easter expected to increase to around 46km/hour on Monday afternoon.

Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Jermaine Carlese said the fire had spread to the Vredehoek area as a result of the south-easter wind.

"The wind speed increased from about 02:00 this morning and additional fire crews are now stationed at Pepper Tree and Chelmsford area. Further crews are on Tafelberg Road as the wind speed is predicted to increase throughout the morning," he said.

DEVELOPING | Strong winds fan Cape Town fire, evacuations under way

Firefighters spent most of Sunday trying to contain the fire, which destroyed the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Garden, the iconic Mostert Mill and historic UCT buildings.

More than 250 firefighters have been battling the blaze. Carelse said two firefighters were injured and rushed to hospital.

Aerial support was expected to resume at first light, but strong winds could impact on the deployment of aerial firefighting support, said Carelse.

City of Cape Town Traffic Services spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout said road closures remain in place on Monday morning.

The M3, both inbound and outbound, is closed between Hospital Bend and Rhodes Drive. Phillip Kgosana Drive inbound is closed at Hospital Bend, while Princess Anne Avenue is closed between Main Road and the M3. Woolsack Drive is closed between Main Road and the M3.

In Vredehoek, Chelmsford Road and Pepper Tree Road are closed. Tafelberg Road has also been closed.

This is a developing story. More information to follow.

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