Fire on Cape Town’s Table Mountain brought under control

The major fire that erupted in Cape Town at the weekend had largely been brought under control, authorities said on Wednesday, with only occasional flare-ups now spotted.

Firefighting crews were concentrating their efforts on monitoring previously burned areas to make sure they do not once again develop into a hot spot.

Alan Winde, the premier of Western Cape Province, said it was still too early to give the all-clear.

He warned that residents of the drought-hit South African city must be vigilant when lighting open fires, saying the situation remained worrying in light of the dry season, which typically runs from November through April.

Around 600 hectares of Cape Town’s picturesque landmark, Table Mountain, had been destroyed, while the University of Cape Town’s historic library was badly damaged along with several other campus buildings.

Table Mountain, which looms over Cape Town, and the national park surrounding it are protected areas.

The park administration said 170 firefighters and 120 park rangers were involved in the effort to douse the flames.

Officials blamed the cause of the fire on campfire lit by a homeless man, who has since been arrested and charged with arson. (dpa/NAN)