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Media Release: Fire-fighting in Table Mountain National Park

Date: 9th December 2005

Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and City fire fighters have worked throughout the night battling two fires that flared up during the night and the early hours of the morning. The first fire started last night above the Bokaap but was contained within about two hours.

Following the release below, it has subsequently been established that no buildings caught alight at the Apostle Battery as City fire-fighter stopped it just in time. It is no longer under threat. Efforts are now being concentrated in the Suikerbossie Area. While the wind is still strong, it has dropped a bit.

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06h50 Friday 9 December 2005: Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and City fire fighters have worked throughout the night battling two fires that flared up during the night and the early hours of the morning. The first fire started last night above the Bokaap but was contained within about two hours.

At around 00h40 a fire was reported in the Oudekraal area but high winds that were constantly changing direction and poor visibility due to a combination of smoke and darkness severely hampered firefighting efforts.

Currently the fire is burning on two flanks. One is burning near the Apostle Battery above Llundudno and the other in the vicinity of the Oudekraal Hotel on the Twelve Apostles. City firefighters are defending the hotel and the TMNP is on site at the Apostle Battery.

High winds are preventing the helicopters from flying and difficult means that the firefighters have to access the area on foot. TMNP has also deployed a team to the top of Table Mountain to monitor the situation.

This follows a tough day of firefighting on the Peninsula yesterday. TMNP fire staff remained in the Slangkop vicinity in Kommetjie last night to prevent further flare-ups. The fire was fought by TMNP and SPA fire staff. No houses were damaged and around 50 hectares were burned. 

TMNP management asks citizens of Cape Town to be aware that the dry windy conditions can lead to runaway conditions. All fires should be reported to Emergency Services on 021 957 4700.

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09h20 Friday 9 December:  The fire on the 12 Apostles continues to burn on two flanks with the left flank in the Apostle Battery area being the primary source of concern. Some large gum trees and several of the Apostle Battery buildings are now on fire. Fortunately there were no groups in residence at the time and the caretaker and two workers have been moved to safety.

City and TMNP fire fighters are still battling the blaze and the helicopters are now airborne and are water bombing the right flank.  Approximately 250 hectares have been burned so far.  Conditions remain hot and windy.

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Issued by:
South African National Parks

Enquiries:
Fiona Kalk
Communications Manager
Table Mountain National Park
tel: +27 021 701 8692
fax:+27 021 701 8773
fionak@sanparks.org

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