Residents urged to stay away from Table Mountain

A helicopter water-bombing the fire which has been raging since Sunday April 18.

The South African National Parks (SANParks) on Monday April 19 called on residents to stay away from the mountain as the firefighting operation is still underway.

Over 135 firefighters from SANParks, Working on Fire, City of Cape Town, NCC Environmental Services are currently battling the blaze which started in the vicinity of the Rhodes Memorial yesterday morning.

SANParks spokesperson Rey Thakhuli said rangers had their hands full this morning at their entrances stopping users from partaking in their usual day to day activities within the Table Mountain National Park.

Emergency workers and SANParks are still trying to bring the fire which has spread to Vredehoek under control.

Mr Thakhuli said: “With users now attempting to go about their normal running, cycling or walking their dogs we will not be able to fully concentrate on the fire especially in the Newlands Forest and Rhodes Memorial zones.”

Members of the public are advised to stay away from the Newlands Forest, Groote Schuur Estate, Rhodes Memorial, Devils Peak, Tafelberg Road, Vredehoek and Deer Park sections of the park. Including all recreation areas below and above Tafelberg Road, which will remain closed until further notice.

As an alternative, people can visit areas in the South and Central sections of the park such as Silvermine, Tokai, Boulders and Cape Point.

“Those who would like to access Lions Head and Signal Hill should approach the areas with caution as the emergency personnel are in the area,” said Mr Thakhuli.

Mr Thakhuli said over 400 hectares of land and growing have been damaged by the fire which is being fanned by strong winds.

Food donations for the firefighters can be dropped off at the Newlands Firebase off the M3 highway or call Pat Scott at 079 608 9991.