Cape Town – While the City's Fire and Rescue Service, among others, has been battling to douse the fire that started near Betty's Bay seven days ago, the man who allegedly started it appeared in court.
The Caledon Magistrate’s Court postponed the case to next Monday for a bail application, TimesLive reported. The 34-year-old suspect allegedly shot a signal flare into the air which landed in fynbos behind his house on a mountain slope.
The man is facing charges under the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act for causing a fire, discarding a burning object in a place where it could start a fire and acting in a manner likely to cause a fire.
The City's Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson, Theo Layne, said late on Monday afternoon "the fire is currently just past the Kogel Bay resort", with the R44 remaining closed.
He said the area is difficult for firefighters to access on the upper slopes of the mountain, but added that "reports of the fire having reached Gordon's Bay is unfounded at this time".
Strong winds have pushed the fire north along the scenic R44. The road was closed on Monday while firefighters from Working on Fire, City of Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park and the Overberg municipality battling to control the blaze with the help of helicopters.
The Kogel Bay resort was closed and property between Rooi Els and Gordon’s Bay was evacuated.