The blaze spreading around Cape Town’s south peninsula is likely to continue for much of the week, depending on the weather conditions, South African National Parks Integrated Fire Manager Phillip Prins said at a media conference on Monday.
“It’s a big fire. It’s been aided by 70-80km/h winds. In some places it was 100km/h,” Prins said.
“This fire is likely to keep us busy for the rest of the week, depending on the weather conditions. It’s burning very old vegetation over such a big area.”
According to Prins, the fire started early on Sunday morning in the mountains above Muizenberg, before spreading aggressively to the surrounding areas in one of the worst fires of recent years in the Cape Peninsula.
The SANParks representative praised residents of Cape Town, hailing the efforts of ordinary citizens who have aided firefighters by providing them with food and water.
“The people of Cape Town have really rallied around the problem, and we are very grateful for that,” he added.
The latest report is that Hout Bay residents are being prepared for evacuation measures, as the fire spreads westwards in pockets across the Cape Peninsula.
“The area under threat stretches from Hout Bay to Muizenberg and at least 3 000 hectares’ of vegetation are at risk of being completely destroyed but actual damage and the cost of the fire will only be known once the fire is extinguished,” SANParks said in a statement.
“Multiple teams from Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), Working on Fire (WoF) and the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) have dispatched more than 400 firefighters over the course of two days. In addition, five helicopters, including two water bombers, one spotter and a helicopter from the Department of Defence, have been up in the air since yesterday trying to contain the fire.
“Containment is proving to be a challenge right now as the fire is raging over a large area of TMNP, and the areas are at a high terrain making it difficult to access and simultaneously making fire-fighting on the ground more of a challenge,” SANParks said.