The City of Cape Town’s firefighters snapped fighting the fire on Sunday, along with Table Mountain National Park and the Volunteer Wildfire Service. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
The City of Cape Town’s firefighters snapped fighting the fire on Sunday, along with Table Mountain National Park and the Volunteer Wildfire Service. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town fire in pictures: Applauding the hard work of firefighters

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Apr 21, 2021

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Cape Town - While the work of Cape firefighters is not yet done as they will still be monitoring for flare-ups throughout the week, they have managed to contain the fire, and it’s necessary that their heroic efforts be acknowledged.

Aside from Capetonians, businesses and government officials who showed their appreciation with donations, firefighters were also recently thanked by the South African National Parks (SANParks) CEO, Fundisile Mketeni.

Mketeni praised the bravery and dedication of, among others, the firefighters, volunteers, City of Cape Town (CoCT) Fire and Rescue Services and the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) rangers in their efforts to contain the fire that caused massive destruction.

“The devastating fires across the TMNP have brought home the value of partnerships and working together as a community to manage this national park we all love.

“Without the collective efforts of the 125 TMNP rangers, the 170 fire and rescue workers, the South African National Defence Force, City of Cape Town personnel, law enforcement and the many, many volunteers, the damage, as devastating as it was, could have been much worse,” said Mketeni.

“The immediacy of the reaction of fire-fighting teams from all areas of the Western Cape, their skill, courage and commitment ensured that the fire was mostly contained by Monday afternoon.

“We also thank our 120 rangers who manage and protect this vast area of more than 28 000 hectares, recognising the many challenges they face. To manage an urban park stretching from Signal Hill to Cape Point, we rely heavily on our communities to assist, alert and raise the alarm on disasters like this, which is exactly what happened on Sunday morning,” added Mketeni.

While the fire has been contained, the City’s Fire and Rescue spokesperson Jermain Carelse said that monitoring operations will continue throughout the week.

“As we enter day four of the Rhodes Memorial incident, the fire has now been contained with only sporadic flare-ups in the Deer Park area, which pose no threat.

“The downscaling of resources started yesterday (Tuesday) evening and only a few fire crews are currently monitoring the situation around the UCT, Philip Kgosana Drive and Deer Park areas,” Carelse said.

Mayor Dan Plato also acknowledged and thanked the many role-players involved in responding to the fire and all those who assisted.

“By working together, we were able to respond as quickly as possible, prevent loss of life, and support each other with the different skill sets required in responding to emergencies such as this one. Capetonians are truly resilient and I applaud our residents, fire fighters, emergency personnel and everyone involved in responding to this fire. Thank you,” said Plato.

Here are some pictures of the Herculean effort that firefighters put into fighting the blaze:

Sunday

A shot of Table Mountain on Sunday when the fire was already picking up momentum. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.
A shot of Table Mountain on Sunday when the fire was already picking up momentum. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said that they were alerted to the vegetation fire above Philip Kgosana Drive at about 8.45am on Sunday. Picture: Sisonke Mlaml/Cape Argus

The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said that they were alerted to the vegetation fire above Philip Kgosana Drive at about 8.45am on Sunday. Picture: Sisonke Mlaml/Cape Argus

Firefighting efforts along with TMNP and the Volunteer Wildfire Service were on hand after the blaze began on Sunday. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

A firefighter carrying two hose pipes across Jameson Steps toward the Jagger Library which had caught alight. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Firefighters seen co-ordinating along with Cape Town law enforcement before tackling the Jagger Library fire. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

The raging wildfire on Sunday damaged the Jagger Library. Firefighters were seen trying to extinguish the fire. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency

UCT had initiated an evacuation of student residences after the fire had reached the upper campus where firefighters were hard at work. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

UCT buildings were under threat of an out of control fire. Firefighters worked tirelessly to get the fire under control at the HWP building which was also on fire. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Helicopters were also on scene waterbombing the upper campus buildings that had been alight. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Monday

On Monday, firefighters had to evacuated Vredehoek and Walmer Estate residents in Cape Town. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell confirmed that evacuations were under way, with Fire and Rescue vehicles on the scene. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Vredehoek residents in Cape Town City Bowl were evacuated by Fire and Rescue firefighters as the blaze inched closer to homes. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

The air was filled with smoke and particles from the fire, which impacted visibility and air quality. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Firefighters waiting for the flames to reach Vredehoek. The wildfire that broke out early on Sunday morning spread overnight towards the Devils Peak Estate/Vredehoek area of the Cape Town City Bowl. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Firefighters in Vredehoek attempting to stop the spread of the fire. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Firefighters waiting for the flames to reach Vredehoek. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Vredehoek residents being evacuated. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Firefighters were battling the blaze that jumped over Philip Kgosana Drive and headed towards houses in Walmer Estate. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Firefighters were battling the blaze that jumped over Philip Kgosana Drive and headed towards houses in Walmer Estate. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Firefighters hosing down a fie along Philip Kgosana Drive, while also enduring poor visibility Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

A firefighter in action keeping the hose steady to make sure no flare-ups happen. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Firefighters catching a moment’s breathe. Picture: Leon Lestrade/ African News Agency/ANA.

Tuesday

Two SANDF helicopters and at least three Working On Fire Helicopters assisted in the Table Mountain fire on Tuesday. Scores of people made their way to the reservoir to watch the helicopters scooping up water to water bomb the last remaining fires high up on Table Mountain. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Two SANDF helicopters and at least three Working On Fire Helicopters assisted in the Table Mountain fire on Tuesday. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Scores of people made their way to the reservoir to watch the helicopters scooping up water to water bomb the last remaining fires high up on Table Mountain. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Head of Operations, Mrs Arlene Wehr, from the Roeland Street fire station. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Argus

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