Firefighters are preparing to work through the night to ensure that a fire in the South Peninsula remains contained. Three helicopters will continue water-bombing the flames in Hout Bay and Tokai until sunset.
The City’s Fire and Rescue Service, Disaster Risk Management staff and volunteers, Table Mountain National Park, Working On Fire volunteers, Wild Land Fire Services, and the Volunteer Wildfire Services remain on scene.
The fire started just after 02:00 on Sunday 1 March 2015 in Muizenberg above Boyes Drive and was fanned by the strong wind. It subsequently spread over an extensive area, including Ou Kaapse Weg, Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay and Tokai.
As things stand, one City firefighter has been admitted to hospital after sustaining burn wounds, and 52 frail-care residents of a Noordhoek retirement village were treated for smoke inhalation.
To date, five homes have been destroyed along Silvermine in Noordhoek. Some of the structures at Tintswalo Lodge at the foot of Chapman’s Peak were also affected, although the extent of the damage is unclear at this stage.
At least 30 households were evacuated in Noordhoek, as well as residents of the San Michelle Old-Age Home and the Noordhoek Manor Retirement Village. Residents of the latter have since been advised that they can return home. Three mass care centres have been set up to accommodate those who have been displaced: at the Dutch Reformed Church in Kommetjie Road, Fish Hoek; at the Dutch Reformed campsite in Noordhoek; and at the Fish Hoek Community Hall.
‘The wind has died down significantly today and that has helped the efforts to contain the fire. The weather outlook for the next 24 hours indicates that moderate winds will persist which will hopefully further improve the chances of bringing the fire under control,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
Members of the public in affected areas are advised to hose down thatched roofs, keep all windows closed and to call the City of Cape Town’s 107 Public Emergency Call Centre in the event of an emergency. They can dial 107 from a landline and 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.
Currently, Chapman’s Peak Drive remains closed to traffic as well as Boyes Drive between the golf course and Old Boyes Drive. Motorists are advised to use Muizenberg Main Road as an alternative route. Ou Kaapse Weg and Constantia Nek have been reopened to traffic.
Members of the public wishing to make donations of food and drink to the firefighting teams are kindly requested to donate non-perishable goods. Drop-off points are available at the Fish Hoek and Lakeside fire stations as well as the Dutch Reformed Church in Kommetjie Road, Fish Hoek; the Noordhoek Farm Stall; and the Dutch Reformed campsite in Noordhoek.