The city of Cape town is preparing itself for an early start to the fire season following the devastating Twelve Apostles fire that flared up on Wednesday. Fanned by strong winds, the fired reached danger status on Thursday evening and the 12 Apostles Hotel had to be evacuated. Another fire has begun on Signal Hill today, Friday 13 October. The flames are on the slope of the mountain, close to residential area Green Point. Following the first big fire of the season, Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith warned Capetonians to gear themselves up for a longer and more difficult summer.

“The City of Cape town is preparing  for an earlier start to the dry, hot fire season,” said Smith. He also said the that City will implement their fire management strategies in accordance to the drought crisis that the province is currently facing. A double-edged sword for our dwindling natural resources in the city.
Sanparks Commnications Officer,  Merle Collins urged the public to play their part and be extra cautious during this dreadful period .
“Due to adverse and unpredictable weather conditions Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and all fire agencies request that the public exercises extreme caution during the upcoming fire season, to only braai in designated braai areas, not make any illegal fires and to discard of cigarette butts safely.”

Collins warned that fire resources are allocated  according to the risk they pose.

“The TMNP crews are on standby 24/7 and resources dispatched to wildfires will depend on the Fire Danger Index for that specific day as well as the locality of the fire in relation to “high risk” areas in the Park

Although the fires have devastating effects, Smith also acknowledged the positive impact the blazes have on the fynbos vegetation as they help it  “regenerate from the underground.”

“Flora and fauna are adapted to summer fires, so the season of fire is ideal before bulbs emerge in Autumn and birds start nesting.”

The general public is requested to immediately report all fires within TMNP on 0861 106 417 or the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services on 021 480 7700 and 107 (from a landline)

Tips to stay safe during the season.

  • No fires are allowed on the mountain fringe areas, except in specifically demarcated areas and pre-authorised areas. If you are unsure whether fires are allowed in an area, do not make a fire
  • Do not discard burning cigarettes from your vehicle. They are pollutants and can cause vegetation fires. Please dispose of cigarettes in the vehicle’s ashtray
  • Ensure that fire hydrants remain unobstructed at all times, especially by parked vehicles. Tampering with hydrants can delay a firefighter’s ability to bring a fire under control timeously
  • Ensure that your braai fire is completely extinguished before leaving areas where fires are allowed
  • Keep ignition sources such as matches and lighters out of the reach of children
  • Comply with the legal requirements for burning vegetation off-cuts

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