On Sunday, March 15, a fire raged along the slopes of Lion’s Head, forcing residents of Nettleton Road to evacuate their homes. Flames were also visible on Table Mountain along Tafelberg Road.

Fire Services immediately responded and Tafelberg Road and Kloofnek was closed as a result. Firefighters worked around the clock to contain the flames.

Four dwellings caught alight and a number of vehicles parked near the entrance to Lion’s Head hiking route were razed. People were asked to avoid the Glen area as precautionary measures. Three homes close to Trek and Higgo roads have also burnt down.

Today [March 16], road closures are still in place but the fire is under control with certain spots being monitored. No flames are currently visible on the mountain but smoke is still blowing through the area.

A chopper from Working On Fire (WoW) is monitoring the area and three law enforcement officers are patrolling the site. The wind has died down, reducing the risk of the fire flaring up again.

“As of this morning, TMNP dispatched three (3) Huey Helicopters and one (1) fixed wing Spotter plane to wet down actively burning areas. Crews working throughout the evening will be replaced with fresh crews later on today and in addition, 30 TMNP contracted firefighters (NCC Wildfires), 60 Working on Fire firefighters as well as staff from the Cape Peninsula Fire Protection Association will be fighting the fire on the ground. This amounts to 100 firefighters that will remain on scene through the day. Volunteers from the Volunteer Wildfire Services will be activated this evening to monitor the area and continue with mop up operations,” says Regional Communications Manager from Table Mountain National Park, Lauren Clayton.

The perimeter around where the fire was alight will be secured throughout the day including areas along Kloof road; Nettleton road; below and above Tafelberg road and Kloofnek Forrest in Table Mountain National Park.

“Due to adverse and unpredictable weather conditions expected for today, TMNP and all fire agencies request that the public exercises extreme caution during the remainder of the fire season. Please be advised that entire Lions Head and the Glen footpaths vicinity has been closed. No hiking or mountain biking activities is permitted in these areas,” adds Clayton.

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).

Local photographer Justin Sullivan took pictures of firefighters battling the blaze throughout the evening:

See more of Justin’s work on his Facebook page. 

Pictures: Justin Sullivan

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