South Africa, Cape Town – Masiphumelele informal settlement near Fish Hoek experienced a wide fire ripping through that was extinguished at 1am, the City’s Fire and Rescue Service said on Friday.
No injuries were reported at the Masiphumelele informal settlement, but more than a thousand structures were destroyed. The fire was fanned by gale-force winds.
Crews from the Fire and Rescue Service, Table Mountain National Park and Working on Fire also had to respond to a blaze on the mountain slopes above Victoria Road between Bakoven and Llandudno. This fire has also been contained.
Eight fire-fighting appliances as well as helicopters were deployed to combat the fire after a call was received at around 4.13 pm. The helicopters were grounded in the late afternoon due to strong winds.
“The crew from Kommetjie Road quickly responded to the fire in Masemola Street, which was being fanned by strong winds and spreading at an alarming rate,” said Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse yesterday.
Police were also called to the scene to control a group of people who were interfering with firefighting efforts.
Mayor Dan Plato has indicated that he will declare a local disaster within the next 72 hours.
According to the City, it is no longer able to provide fire and flood kits to residents outside of declared disasters.
Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi, who is expected to visit the area on Friday morning to assess the damage, said: “A sad day for us a City of Cape Town where we have experienced a disaster at informal settlement. This informal settlement has lost more than 1 000 structures due to the fire.
’’We will be engaging provincial government and national government to declare it as a disaster area. We are hoping and requesting everybody who can assist us to come on board to our disaster areas to assist us to make sure that we take care of the fire victims.”
Meanwhile, In Bakoven, road closures had been in place at Victoria and Houghton roads and at Victoria and Llandudno roads to contain the fire.
Carelse said in a call that the slopes were alight was received at 2.41 pm. Eight firefighting appliances, with 45 staff members, were on scene.
Two choppers and a spotter plane water-bombed the area. No damage to property was reported.