ALERT: Table Mountain trails closed due to Simon’s Town fires

2017-01-11 13:08 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - Table Mountain National Park and the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) have advised members of the public to stay clear of the Ocean View area in Simon's Town due to fires. 

Hikers and cyclists, especially, were urged not to enter any trails between Ocean View and the top of Red Hill in Simon's Town. The Red Hill mountain pass links Simon's Town to Scarborough and Misty Cliffs on the False Bay Coast, and is a popular route for mountain bikers and hikers. 

SEE PICS: Guests evacuated, structures burnt as Western Cape fires rage on

For visitors' safety, as well as ensuring an unobstructed opportunity for firefighters to combat the fire, the park urged members of the public to steer clear. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Simon’s Town residents were being evacuated as fires rage in and around the suburb, authorities and eyewitnesses said. According to city Disaster Risk Management Officer Mandy Thomas, all city services were responding to the blaze.

The wildfire started burning on Wednesday morning, 11 January, on the slopes of the mountain. 

ALSO SEE:   Winelands fires: Jonkershoek Nature Reserve closed due to heavy smoke

Fires have been raging across the Western Cape for the past two weeks. Fires in Somerset West and Paarl were contained on Wednesday morning, with authorities monitoring the areas for any possible flare-ups.

According to incident command post spokesperson Justin Lawrence, fires on the Du Toitskloof mountains were under control.

"All fires on the mountain have been contained. Fires are still burning on the mountain, but there is no immediate danger to property," Lawrence told News24 on Wednesday morning.

Firefighters have now been deployed to the Red Hill area in the hopes of containing it before more damage occurs. 

SEE: 5 Wine Estates, lodges burnt in the Winelands, fires continue

So far, however, numerous properties and hectares of vineyards have been destroyed, amounting to over R60 million in damages for the Somerset West fires alone. 

For Wednesday, 11 January, the South African Weather Service has again warned of extremely high fire danger conditions expected over southern parts of the Northern Cape, Cape Winelands as well as the Little and Central Karoo of the Western Cape.  

SEE Weather Update: Chances of rain brings relief to flaming Western Cape

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