ALERT: Cape Town fire closes Deer Park

2017-01-17 08:41 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Fire (File)

Cape Town - Table Mountain National Park and Volunteer Wildfire Services have urged visitors to stay clear of Deer Park on the slopes of Devil's Peak as fires in the area blazed throughout the night on Monday, 16 January. 

Philip Prins, Fire Manager: TMNP confirmed to Traveller24 on Tuesday morning that the road to Deer Park remained closed. "The fire is more or less contained, not spreading anymore and ground crews are working the lines preventing it from flaring up again.

"Lots of smoke from smouldering stumps and logs which will continue for a couple of days," Prins says. 

According to Deer Park Cafe, situated at the entrance of the park, firefighters were still in the area monitoring the fires on Tuesday morning, 17 January, after a fire blazed threatened residential property in the area the night before. 

According to a local resident, Herzlia High School on Deer Park road has also been closed for Tuesday. Traveller24 attempted to contact the school to confirm the closure, but the telephone went unanswered. 

A secretary at St Cyprian's school, situated close by, also said that the smoke hanging over Herzlia High School was very dense on Tuesday morning. St Cyprian's school remains open. 

Firefighters have asked for unobstructed roads in order to fight and contain the fire as best possible. 

Volunteer Wildfire Services urged visitors to stay clear of the area, saying, “If you don’t need to be near Vredehoek or Deer Park, DO NOT go to see the #DeerPark Fire. Give emergency crews access – they need it!!”

Homes evacuated at midnight 

Residents, assisted by Community Medics, evacuated their homes voluntarily around midnight as the flames burnt dangerously close to the upper edge of Vredehoek and Oranjezicht, fanned by the deadly South Easter wind. 

No damage to property was reported, however. 

City of Cape Town fire services spokesperson Theo Lane told News24 on Monday night that 52 firefighters were at the scene between Deer Park Drive and Tafelberg Road after the vegetation in the area was reported to be ablaze at about 21:30.

He confirmed that some residents “voluntarily evacuated their houses”.

The fire was contained on Tuesday morning, Volunteer Wildfire Services confirmed, but the area was still being monitored. 

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