10:22: LATEST: The Ministerial Estate, Disa Park and Mountain View Complex in Vredehoek have been evacuated.

All schools in the Vredehoek area have been asked to evacuate, according to the City of Cape Town.


10:15: Social media users have taken to Twitter to express their shock and devastation after the fire-veld destroyed the University of Cape Town’s Jagger Library and Mostert’s Mill among other heritage sites on Sunday.


10:07: #capetownfires


10:03: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway suspends operations

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway has suspended operations due to the fire on mountain. All operations will remain suspended until the area is declared safe, said the managing director of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company.

He urged the public to keep all roads in the vicinity of the fires clear and to cooperate with instructions given by firefighting teams.


19 April 2021

The fire that initially started in the vicinity of Rhodes Memorial just under 24 hours ago continues to rage and has spread in the direction of Vredehoek.

All efforts remain focused on active firefighting for the moment, although the fire is hard to reach in places and we hope that aerial firefighting support can be deployed to douse the flames before it reaches the urban edge.

However, the wind could impact on this deployment.

For the moment, there are some precautionary evacuations taking place in Vredehoek, but no other evacuations were necessary overnight.

We commend the firefighters, Disaster Risk Management staff and volunteers, the enforcement staff and every other agency and individual who have played a role in the efforts to contain the fire, and continue to do so.

We would also like to thank the public for opening their hearts and wallets to the firefighters, but also the students who were evacuated by UCT.

There has been property damage, details of which are in the public domain, but the City will do a full assessment once the fire is under control.

Thus far, two City firefighters have been injured and we wish them a speedy recovery.

There is a lot of speculation currently about additional fires that were started, and whether the original fire was an act of arson.

This will form part of investigations, but the City can confirm that one suspect in his thirties was taken into custody last night in the vicinity of Devil’s Peak.

He was spotted by a resident, who tracked him down with the help of his sons and the family’s dogs.

The matter is with SAPS for investigation and further details will follow as they become available.

For now, the focus is on bringing the fire under control and we appeal to the public to assist the authorities by following instructions in respect of evacuations where necessary, staying away from the active firefighting scenes so that firefighters can focus on the job at hand, and by reporting any information that may be relevant to the investigations into this incident.


#capetownfires


09:43: Reports indicate that only one of four choppers are up with water because of wind


09:42: #capetownfires

09:38 #capetownfires

09:35: #capetownfires


09:33: “We hope aerial firefighting support can be deployed to douse the flames before they reach the urban edge.

“However, the wind could impact on this deployment.

“For the moment, there are some precautionary evacuations taking place in Vredehoek, but no other evacuations were necessary overnight,” mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said. 


09:30: The City of Cape Town in investigating reports about the original blaze being due to arson and of additional fires being started.

According to Times Live, this was disclosed by mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith.

“There is a lot of speculation about additional fires that were started, and whether the original fire was an act of arson. This will form part of the investigations, but the city can confirm one suspect in his 30s was taken into custody last night in the vicinity of Devil’s Peak.”


09:22: UCT has confirmed that it had lost parts of the rare African Studies collection in the fire, reports say.

The flames completely gutted the Jagger Reading Room on upper campus.

UCT vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, said that they were not sure yet exactly how much they had lost.

“Having lost the Jagger Reading Room completely and some parts of the African Studies collection is completely devastating.”


09:20: #capetownfires

09:18: #capetownfires

09:15: “I think the extreme heat and the wind that we faced and just the weather conditions were just against the firefighters. the wind just blows the embers to the other side. It was dry and a bit windy and there was all the conducive conditions for the fire to spread rapidly,” EWN quoted The City of Cape Town’s fire services spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse as saying.


09:13: EWN reports that authorities are set to assess the damage caused nation’s oldest university following a massive fire.

The report says fire authorities and members of the University of Cape Town will assess the damage.


09:00 #capetownfires

08:57: #capetownfires

#capetownfires

08:45: South African National Parks says there is overwhelming support from Cape Town residents for firefighters currently fighting a running fire in Table Mountain National Park. Scores of community members


08:37: Manager of the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Garden Jessica Lyon says they are still in shock after the fire ripped through the area.

“All we know is that we managed to evacuate the clients and staff as quickly as possible. I don’t knbow what the extent of the damage is.

“We will be okay. We are going to be fine,” News24 quoted her as saying.

 



08:29: News24 reports that at least 4 000 UCT students were evacuated on Sunday after the veldfire reached the campus.


08:16: UCT is not able, at the moment, to confirm the extent of the damage to property.

“UCT is at this stage not able to confirm extent of the damage to property, as well as the number or names of buildings affected,” IOL quoted UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola as saying last night.  

Dramatic images from the scene showed UCT’s library on fire as well as the HWP building. Students living on campus have been evacuated.


08:06: IN BRIEF: What exactly happened? 

The vegetation fire is believed to have been started by a vagrant. It  first moved up towards Rhodes Memorial and then towards the UCT upper campus.

Rhodes Memorial Restaurant has burnt down, while part of the UCT library, residences and upper campus buildings were also damaged by the fire.

Fire crews have been working throughout the night. The City has more than 200 of its firefighters on the scene from various stations across the metropole, working alongside the TMNP staff, Working on Fire and the Volunteer Wildfire Services.


City of Cape Town: UPDATE ON FIREFIGHTING EFFORTS

The fire 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.

As a precautionary these areas were evacuated.

Further crews are on 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.

UPDATE ON FIREFIGHTING EFFORTS

The fire has now spread towards the Vredehoek area as a result of the South Easter.

The…

Posted by City of Cape Town on Sunday, April 18, 2021


08:00: City of Cape Town : UPDATE ON DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT EFFORTS

Precautionary evacuations have gotten under way in Peppertree Road in Vredehoek, after the fire spread towards the area overnight.

DRMC is also aware of some residents who opted to evacuate in other parts of the suburb, due to the smoke hanging over the area.

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.

UPDATE ON DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT EFFORTS

Precautionary evacuations have gotten underway in Peppertree Road in…

Posted by City of Cape Town on Sunday, April 18, 2021


07:53: UCT Vice Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng says all campus activity will not proceed on Monday and Tuesday, as the university assesses the situation and provides further update.

“The safety of students and staff is paramount. For safety reasons, the campus will be closed down and no one, other than emergency services will be allowed access. We are all anxious about the extent of the damage to the Rondesbosch campus. We will provide updates as soon as we are able to do so,” said Phakeng.

She says food and emergency accommodation have been arranged for all students who have been evacuated.


07:45: “The fire 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.

“As a precautionary, these areas were evacuated. Further crews are on 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, Table Mountain National Parks (TMNP), Working on Fire and the Volunteer Wildfire Services remain on the ground, fighting the fire on various fronts,” said a City spokesperson at 7.11am, according to IOL


07:43: #capetownfires

07:41: IOL reports that Vredehoek residents in the City Bowl began evacuating their homes early this morning as strong winds picked up at about 02:00 and keep fanning a fire that started on Sunday.

City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell confirmed that evacuations were under way, with Fire and Rescue vehicles on the scene as the wind speed is predicted to increase throughout the morning.


#capetownfire

07:35: #capetownfire

07:33 #capetownfire

07:32: #capetownfire

07:26: Hiking Cape Town says the fire is continuing to spread, as it has reached Devils Peak and towards the CBD.

“If you come across injured wildfire, please call Cape of Good Hope SACA on 083 326 1604.


07:18: EWN reports that at least four firefighters have been injured while battling a blaze on the slopes of the Table Mountain.

More than 200 firefighters have been battling the inferno, the report says.

“An additional member from the volunteer service was also injured and was taken to hospital, so we’re currently standing at four firefighters – two from the city and two from the volunteer firefighting service,” Fire and rescue services’ Jermaine Carelse was quoted as saying.


#capetownfire

07:12: City of Cape Town Dusaster Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell says evacuations are still under way. She did not, however, give more details, according to News24.


07:08: Philip Kgosana Drive inbound is closed at Hospital Bend, while Princess Ann Avenue is closed between the Main Road and M3. Woolsack Drive is closed between Main Road and M3.

In Vredenhoek, Chelmsford Road and Pepper Tree Road are closed.

Tafelberg Road has also been closed


06:59: City of Cape Town Traffic Service Spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout says road closures remain in place on Monday morning. The M3, both inbound and outbound is closed between Hospital Bend and Rhodes drive.


06:56: #Capetownfire


06:54: The massive fire that began on Sunday morning has spread overnight, forcing residents to evacuate their homes.


06:22: Ward Councillor Nicole Jewell posted on Facebook that witnesses had told police that they had seen three people trying to deliberately stoke the blaze late on Sunday night.

“Unbelievable. Three arsonist witnessed starting three separate fires on Philip Kgosana drive. Seen by witnesses and running away. About 30 minutes ago,” she said, adding that fire service are on the scene but are “stretched beyond limits”


06:20: A suspected arsonist has since been apprehended in connection with the fire that is currently engulfing the foothills of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, reports The South African. The suspect was arrested on Sunday night.


06:19: Several agencies responding to the devastating fire that ripped through a number of buildings on Sunday afternoon, including the UCT library, have claimed that the fire was started by “vagrants”.


06:18:  Get the latest updates as, efforts to contain the Table Mountain fire that started on Sunday morning, continues. Property including private homes, Rhodes Memorial restaurant and historical structures such as the Mostert’s Hill windmill have been damaged.


Picture: Twitter





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