Fires broke out on Cape Town’s Signal Hill on Sunday, January 27, at around 16h00, and were reported contained until a flare-up was confirmed along Signal Hill Road on Lion’s Head at around 14h45 on Monday afternoon, January 28 (at the time of publishing).
Signal Hill has seen another blaze light-up on Monday afternoon, as firefighters continue their herculean efforts to calm the Cape Town fire. https://t.co/FLhJ7yqm8z— South African Mag (@southafricanmag) January 28, 2019
Firefighters worked throughout the night and into Monday morning, to douse the fires that started on Kloof Nek Road, and spread over to Signal Hill and Fresnaye, to engulf Lion’s Head. The cause of the fires is as yet unknown, but is currently being investigated by Rob Erasmus of Enviro Wildfire Services.
Firefighters battle through the night to douse Lion’s Head fires.
Spokesperson for the Western Cape’s local government, James-Brent Styan, said: “The major problem is that we had a terrible drought, the worst drought we can remember, so the veld is extremely dry...which burns very quickly, especially with the strong winds that we are seeing.”
No official evacuations have been called for and, according to Steyn, there are no reports of property being damaged, however one person who was sleeping on the mountain was injured, and an estimated 160 hectares of vegetation has been burned.
Late Monday afternoon, the City of Cape Town tweeted that Sea Point Swimming Pool had been closed until further notice due to ash deposits in the water.
The City has closed Sea Point Swimming Pool until further notice due to ash deposits in the water from the fire on Signal Hill/Lion’s Head. The pool is being cleaned and will reopen once there are no health and safety hazards. The City apologises for any inconvenience. #CTNews pic.twitter.com/xIflbk5mbX— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) January 28, 2019
Minister of Economic Opportunities in the Western Cape, Beverley Schäfer, says: “Tourists and residents alike are urged to exercise extreme caution and to give firefighters and emergency services the space in which to do their work. While the fire appears to be under control right now, fires are unpredictable, and the safety of our visitors remains paramount. While it is disappointing that some of our visitors will not be able to enjoy the spectacular views from Signal Hill as a result, there are many other equally breath-taking sites and tourism opportunities in the city and surrounds for visitors to enjoy.”