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Veld Fires in Cape Town: Safety Tips, Donations & Emergency Contacts Guide

Developing: latest news and updates of Cape Town fire with visuals 

A veld fire has been raging across Table Mountain, edging into some suburban areas since early yesterday morning (18 April). It engulfed Devil’s Peak before running swiftly through Rhodes Memorial and UCT, where it is currently spreading in the direction of Vredehoek. Luckily to date, there have been no civilian injuries reported, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell, said in a media release today (19 April).


Image credit: Bridget Vivian

DEVELOPING NEWS + UPDATES 

Because of the south easterly wind, “the conditions have deteriorated overnight, with the wind picking up strength and fanning the flames”, said Bredell. So far, the City of Cape Town has evacuated the upper areas of Chelmsford and Peppertree roads in Vredehoek early this morning as a precautionary action, Bredell added. Heads up when travelling: the M3 roadway and the Phillip Kgosana in-bound roadway are closed.


Image credit: Antonie Speirs

WHAT DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE

In the afternoon yesterday the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Garden went up in flames, and then exploded as the flames engulfed gas bottles. The fire then ran into the University of Cape Town, most distressingly burning the historic Jagger Library. It also jumped the highway, burning 200-plus-year-old Mostert’s Mill to the ground. There are also reports of a house in Rondebosch being burned, but details are still emerging.

WARNING FROM THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN

“It is going to be a very tough day, and we urge the public to work with the emergency responders and the authorities. Stay away from the affected areas. Anyone who is able to avoid the city bowl today and able to work from home is urged to do so due. Residents in the affected areas are advised to take note of the heavy smoke and soot and to seek medical attention if breathing becomes difficult,” Bredell warned.

 
 
 
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Bredell advises everyone to keep in mind some important fire-safety steps:

  • Stay hydrated as much as possible;

  • Keep all windows and doors closed as protection against outside smoke and heat;

  • Keep an eye on your pets and keep them indoors where possible. If your pets are lost, the SPCA is on hand to help with displaced animals;

  • Move any flammable garden furniture inside or under cover where possible;

  • If the situation worsens the City of Cape Town will alert residents as soon as possible.

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP

More than 250 firefighters from the City of Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park, Working on Fire and Volunteer Wildfire Services have been deployed and are currently working on containing the fire. 

Donations of Voltaren, headache medication, vaseline, eye drops, energy bars, energy drinks and water can be dropped off at the Roeland Street Fire Station in Cape Town.


Image credit: Anton Crone

You can also make a donation to the UCT emergency fire Relief Fund:

Account name: UCT Donations Account
Bank: Standard Bank of South Africa
Branch code: Rondebosch Branch, 025009
Account number: 07 152 2387
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ
 

VELD FIRE EMERGENCY CONTACTS

City of Cape Town: 107 or +27 (0) 21 480 7700 (from a cell phone)
Overberg: +27 (0) 28 425 1690
West Coast: +27 (0) 22 433 8700
Eden: +27 (0) 44 805 5071
Central Karoo: +27 (0) 23 414 2603
Cape Winelands: +27 (0) 21 887 4446

SWIPE LEFT TO SEE THE FIRE FIGHTERS IN ACTION

 
 
 
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STAY UPDATED WITH MORE ONGOING NEWS

Follow these important fire safety tips

Stay updated with covid-related news and stats

There are plenty of ways you can (safely) enjoy lockdown.

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