A massive blaze continues to rage in Cape Town. On Sunday, the veldfire destroyed a number of private buildings as well as the UCT library…

The Table Mountain National Park and the Newlands and Rhodes Memorial area were evacuated as the City’s Fire and Rescue Services fought the blaze throughout the night.

UCT’s campus was also evacuated as the fire consumed part of the restaurant at Rhodes Memorial, Mostert Mill and two thatched roof dwellings near Woolsack Drive, along with the HM Pearson, Fuller and Jagger Library buildings.

According to reports from the City of Cape Town, the fire is not yet under control on Monday morning and has now spread towards the Vredehoek area as a result of the South Easter.

“The wind speed increased  from about 2AM this morning and additional fire crews are now stationed at Pepper Tree and Chelmsford area,” said City of Cape Town Fire Chief Jermaine Carelse. “As a precautionary these areas were evacuated.”

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Further crews have also been sent to Tafelberg road as the wind speed is predicted to increase throughout the morning. “This could also potentially impact on the deployment of aerial firefighting support this morning.”

More than 250 firefighters from the City, TMNP, Working on Fire and the Volunteer Wildfire Services remain on the ground, fighting the fire on various fronts.

Mostert Mill
The Mostert Mill
Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith shared the following images from the City of Cape Town’s disaster management efforts.

Precautionary evacuations

On Monday morning, precautionary evacuations began in Peppertree Road in Vredehoek, after the fire spread towards the area overnight.

The Disaster Risk Management Committee (DRMC) issued instructions for any residents wanting to evacuate.

We ask the public to please remember the following should they be asked to evacuate:

  • Evacuate immediately and remember to take chronic medication, Identity Documents, passports, cash, cellphones, bottled water, non-perishable food, a set of clothing, blanket and toiletries.
  • If evacuation is ordered, residents are requested to make use of wet towels or rags wrapped around their mouth and nose.
  • The SPCA will assist animals that are displaced.

To date, no injuries to civilians have been reported to the Disaster Operations Centre.

 

ROAD CLOSURES currently in place

  • M3 inbound and outbound is closed between Hospital Bend and Rhodes Drive.
  • Phillip Kgosana Drive inbound is closed at Hospital Bend.
  • Princess Ann Avenue is closed between the Main Road and the M3.
  • Woolsack Drive is closed between Main Road and the M3.
Disaster management teams
Disaster management teams
Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith shared the following images from the City of Cape Town’s disaster management efforts.

Mayor Plato thanks brave firefighters for tireless efforts in Cape blaze

Executive Mayor Dan Plato noted that at least one firefighter was being treated for burn wounds in hospital, as efforts to contain the fire continue. Property, including private homes, the Rhodes Memorial restaurant and historical structures such as the Mostert’s Hill windmill have been damaged by the blaze.

Students from the Upper Campus of the University of Cape Town also had to be evacuated as strong winds caused the fire to spread.

Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith shared the following images from the City of Cape Town’s disaster management efforts.

Mayor Plato visited the site on Sunday to thank those involved in firefighting efforts.

“I wish to express our gratitude for the efforts of firefighters who have been working non-stop to bring this massive fire under control,” said Mayor Plato.

“It is saddening to note that property and historic buildings have been damaged by this fire. It is tragic that literary treasures have been lost at the UCT library, but I have been informed that some of the most valuable works were saved by the quick activation of roller doors. Our attention and support remains with firefighters and all role-players working to protect further loss of property,’ said Executive Mayor Dan Plato.”

 

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