Weather conditions favour fires in Table Mountain National Park
The month of November was particularly dry and windy and TMNP fire officials therefore expect a busy fire season in the months ahead. The expected adverse weather conditions will lead to an increase of fire flare-ups during this coming season.
The Park’s preparation for the 2012/13 fire season was severely tested over the past two days with four fires across the peninsula: one in Newlands Forest on Tuesday 4 December, and two on Wednesday 5 December – the first between Deer Park Drive and Molteno Road on the lower slopes of Table Mountain in the early hours of the morning and the second on Ou Kaapse Weg around midday. A fourth fire was reported in Ocean View also on Wednesday 5 December.
The current status of the fire at Deer Park:
There is still a lot of smoke in the area due to stumps still smouldering. The current crews will be replaced by fresh crews at 16h00 on Wednesday who will monitor the area over the next two days to ensure that the blaze is completely extinguished.
The TMNP fire crews, which includes the Volunteer Wildfire Services, are assisted by crews from the government-funded Working on Fire (WoF) programme as well as 2 medium size helicopters (one contracted through WoF and another supplied by the Provincial Disaster Management) stationed at the SANParks Fire Base at Newlands. They are on high alert and all resources will be dispatched immediately when a fire call is received from anywhere within the Park.
Due to an agreement signed between TMNP and the WoF Programme, TMNP will also be able to call in additional resources (hand crews as well as helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft) during periods of extended attack.
TMNP fire officials requests the public to exercise extreme caution during the fire season and to only braai in designated braai areas, not make any illegal fires and to discard cigarette butts safely and not by throwing them out of vehicle windows.
The general public is also requested to immediately report all fires within TMNP at 0861 106 417 or the City of Cape Town Fire Services at 107 or 021 480 7700 (from a cell phone).
South African National Parks
Manager: Fire and Technical Services
Table Mountain National Park
(021) 689 7438 / 083 961 5046
Regional Communications Manager
South African National Parks (Cape Region)
072 627 3910 Merle.firstname.lastname@example.org