More than 100 fires around Cape Town in one day

Cape Town – Firefighters battled 106 blazes in and around Cape Town in windy conditions, the city said on Wednesday.

Though most were extinguished or contained before they could cause much damage, but a devastating mountain fire in Somerset West was still not fully under control, said JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security.

More than 120 firefighters, 12 fire engines and 10 water tankers battled the mountain vegetation fire on Tuesday, on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in a strong southeasterly wind and worked through the night.

By Wednesday morning, it was about 80 percent under control but the wind remained a concern.

“Hence the fire is not yet completely under control. Aerial and ground crew operations are still under way in high-risk areas of the Helderberg basin,” Smith said.

The fire forced the closure of the N2 and Sir Lowry’s Pass in both directions between Grabouw and Sir Lowry’s Pass Road.

“The N2 to Grabouw has since been reopened, while the entrance into Sir Lowry’s Pass Village on the N2 is closed intermittently depending on smoky conditions.”

The road to Bezweni Lodge, which is below the affected mountain slope, remained closed.

There were also fires on the slopes of Table Mountain above Victoria Road in Llandudno, a fire on De Waal Drive in Zonnebloem, and a fire near Big Bay Boulevard on the West Coast Road.

These destroyed large areas of vegetation but did not endanger lives or property. Smith said the Somerset West fire appeared to have destroyed three buildings, including the upper section of the lodge.

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