Firefighters still battling fires across peninsula
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Despite the efforts of hundreds of volunteers battling the fires that spread across the peninsula over the last two days, late last night authorities said firefighters were still on the scene.
Last night City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue spokesperson Theo Layne said of the fire that engulfed much of Red Hill area yesterday, spreading as far as Scarborough beach: “Firefighters are still at the scene.
"There are two helicopters from firefighters and two helicopters from the SA Navy.
“There are five fire engines, three water tankers, 28 seasonal firefighters and about 60 firefighters in total. Red Hill Road was closed.
"There was a stop-and-go available at Mikey Way and Scarborough Road,” said Layne.
“Fire is still burning over numerous areas as it had spread extensively in the area.”
He said property of the SA Navy had incurred damage, but there had been no injuries.
The Scarborough vegetation fire, which started late on Tuesday night, saw Redhill and Scarborough roads closed due to thick smoke, while naval storerooms and facilities were damaged.
More than 60 firefighters and 12 fire engines battled the blaze. Four helicopters assisted.
By yesterday evening the fire was continuing to burn towards the sea, but officials said no properties were at risk and firefighting crews remained to monitor the situation. The causes of both fires were unknown.
Fire also struck in the Atlantis area on Otto du Plessis Drive yesterday, with multiple fire vehicles on scene.
Also yesterday, the third floor of a building in Darling Street in the CBD was alight. Three fire engines and a water tanker were on scene to douse the flames.
The fire on Sir Lowry’s Pass that spread to Gordon’s Bay, fanned by a strong south-easterly wind, destroyed 10 properties including an animal shelter, two factories, two outdoor storages and two electricity substations on Tuesday. Three vehicles and a truck were also destroyed.
Layne said more than 400 firefighters and 35 fire engines were on the scene.
Gordon’s Bay Residents Association chairperson Edwina Hadfield said by yesterday afternoon about 600 packs had been made containing food to keep firefighters going.
‘‘The fire hit us (on Tuesday) at about 2pm, and we all jumped into action. But the fire moved so fast, it outpaced the firemen.’’
Mayoral committee member for safety and security and social services JP Smith said: "First rough estimate of damages is R38 million, but final figure is likely to be quite a bit higher."