Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said it was going to be a very tough day for firefighting efforts. File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said it was going to be a very tough day for firefighting efforts. File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town fire: residents urged to avoid City Bowl and work from home

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Apr 19, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town: “It is going to be a very tough day and we urge the public to work with the emergency responders and the authorities.”

This was the call from Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell who delivered an update on the Rhodes Memorial firefighting efforts.

The wildfire that broke out early on Sunday morning spread overnight towards the Devils Peak Estate/Vredehoek area of the Cape Town city bowl. Some areas were evacuated in the early hours of the morning as a precautionary measure.

Bredell said conditions have deteriorated overnight with the wind picking up strength and fanning the flames.

“The wind speed is expected to increase during the day which may impact on the deployment of aerial firefighting. The helicopters cannot fly if the wind is too strong and the visibility too poor but the situation will be fully assessed early this morning.”

Bredell added that more than 250 firefighters from the City of Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park, Working on Fire and Volunteer Wildfire Services remained on the ground.

The City of Cape Town evacuated the upper areas of Chelmsford and Peppertree roads in Vredehoek early this morning as a precautionary action.

The M3 roadway remains closed as well as the Phillip Kgosana inbound roadway.

“Stay away from the affected areas. Anyone who is able to avoid the city bowl today and able to work from home, is urged to do so due.

“Residents in the affected areas are advised to take note of the heavy smoke and soot and to seek medical attention if breathing becomes difficult.”

To date, there have been no civilian injuries reported while five firefighters have sustained injuries to date.

The City will inform residents timeously if there is a further need to evacuate an affected area. People who wish to leave the area of their own accord are welcome to do so.

Residents in the vicinity of the fire are advised to take precautionary steps:

  • Remain hydrated.
  • Keep windows and doors closed until further notice as protection against smoke and heat.
  • Keep pets indoors where possible.
  • Move garden furniture that is flammable under cover where possible.

If the situation gets worse, residents will be alerted timeously.

The SPCA is on hand to assist displaced animals.

In the event of an evacuation, residents who live in the affected area are advised to:

  • Take along their chronic medication.
  • Remember ID documents, passports and cellphones.
  • Keep a bottle of water on hand.

In the event of an emergency, contact:

City of Cape Town Emergency Services at 021 480 7700 or, from a cellphone, 107, Provincial Emergency at 112 or Table Mountain National Park at 021 957 4700.

Cape Argus

Share this article: