South Africa — As City of Cape Town fire fighters were getting the second veld fire of the day on the slopes of Signal Hill under control, another two broke out and fire fighters had to quickly rush to the scene of the new blazes.
According to Ian Schnetler, Chief Fire Officer, they first received a report at 10:38 of a fire on Military Road, Signal Hill. We sent three fire engines to the scene and the fire was extinguished at 14:25.
At 12:40, another fire broke out on Signal Hill, this time near High Level Road, Sea Point. Six fire engines and eight other support vehicles were dispatched. The fire was brought under control at 14:26, but fire fighters are still trying to extinguish the fire. There was no damage to surrounding property.
At around 15:00, another two fires started on Signal Hill and crews with their appliances are racing to control the fires. Two helicopters and a third large helicopter have been dispatched to assist. South African National Parks are assisting with Working on Fire and volunteer crews, said Schnetler, who are at the scene.
Fire fighters have been hard at work this festive season with numerous veld fires that have broken out across the Peninsula daily. Many of which have been fuelled by the hot, windy conditions we are currently experiencing.
On average, 45 veld fires have been reported per day this past week. We urge residents to please assist firefighters in their difficult task by helping to prevent fires. Residents need to be very fire conscious in these conditions and should avoid making fires, including braai fires, near open fields, Schnetler said.
The South African Weather Service has reinforced the fire danger rating to a RED warning for the Cape Metropole until Friday for veldfires. Strong winds, high temperatures and no rain are the weather conditions predicted for the foreseeable future. In such conditions, a spark is sufficient to ignite the dry vegetation and a small fire can rapidly turn into an inferno.
The Citys Disaster Risk Management Centre is appealing to the general public to immediately report the illegal practices of burning any rubbish, tyres or copper wire.
Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, Acting Head: Disaster Risk Management, reminded residents that the discharging of fireworks may only be done at designated sites during New Years Eve Celebrations. These designated sites are: Blaauwberg Beach, Strand Beach, Theo Marais Park, Bishop Lavis Sportsfield, Wesfleur Sportsfield, Macassar Beach, Swartklip Sports Complex, Maidens Cove parking area, Athlone Stadium parking area and Sunrise Beach parking area.
For updated weather forecast visit www.weathersa.co.za or call the weatherline at 082 162.
Any emergency and/or distress call can be reported to the 107 emergency number from a Telkom line. Cellphone users need to dial 021 480 7700. The sooner you phone, the sooner help will arrive.