An arsonist is suspected to be behind three fires on the slopes of Table Mountain over the Easter weekend. The 12 Apostles Hotel was threatened by the first of the fires. It started on the slopes above the hotel on Friday night.
Wind pushed flames in the direction of the buildings at one point but fire fighters were able to get it under control in the early hours of on Saturday morning before the luxury hotel was at serious risk.
A second fire was spotted above Rhodes Memorial about 6.30am on Saturday burning in the direction of the King’s Blockhouse. It took fire fighters two hours to contain the blaze with the support of two helicopters. The third fire was in the Newlands Forest area of Table Mountain National Park, later in the afternoon on Saturday.
Fiona Kalk, spokesperson for the Table Mountain National Park, said: “Given the close proximity of the two fires today (Saturday) we are starting to suspect arson, particularly as weather conditions are not extreme.”
Two helicopters from Table Mountain National Park and the City of Cape Town and four teams of fire fighters were called in to control the afternoon blaze before it hit Kirstenbosch Gardens. They had it under control within three hours.
This article was originally published on page 2 of The Cape Argus on March 27, 2005