14 October 2017

South Africa: Cape Town Fires - Weather Hampers Fire Fighting As Blaze Spreads

Low-lying clouds and shifting winds are hampering fire-fighting activities against a blaze that continues to rage through the Table Mountain National Park.

"The fire is not yet contained," said Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) fire manager Philip Prins.

Prins said the fire, which that started on Wednesday, has spread overnight, coming over the mountain and going down Myburgh ravine to Orange Kloof.

"It is burning above Orange Kloof as well as on Judas Peak and Grootkop," he said.

"Unfortunately strong north-westerly winds and low-lying clouds that have left most of the mountain covered are hampering fire-fighting efforts," he said.

Prins said due to the low cloud cover, the three helicopters which had flown in from George to assist with the operation, were unable to conduct any aerial assaults on the fires.

Hikers have also been cautioned to stay off the mountains.

Due to strong wind, low cloud and a fire that seems to change direction every hr, it is strongly advised that all Mnt users stay totally of the mnts between #houtbay & CBD #backtable #12ApostleFire @vwsfires @NCCwildfires @hgeez @media24 pic.twitter.com/aDKFObuLM2-- Cape Town Hiking (@hikingcapetown) October 14, 2017

Prins advised motorists to exercise caution and listen to traffic updates for the latest information, as well as to follow instructions of personnel at the scene of the fire.

He said people should avoid areas where the fire was burning if at all possible.

Prins said while Victoria Drive had been reopened to traffic late last night, the fire was proving unpredictable due to erratic winds and conditions could change.He added that while the 12 Apostles Hotel remained closed, conditions there were looking good.

Source: News24

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