April 21, 2021


A wildfire in Cape Town, South Africa, devastated the local community and wildlife in the area. The fire started on Table Mountain and swept down the ridge into the city.

Firefighters were able to get the fire under control, but the cleanup is just beginning.

The University of Cape Town is right at the bottom of Table Mountain; and the campus was hit hard by the fire. The university’s library was burnt to the ground, and neighborhoods near Table Mountain were evacuated.

The winds and dry air caused the fire to begin on Sunday and rapidly spread. The firefighters deserve praise because they were able to contain the blaze within 24 hours.

The city is not out of the storm yet because the wind and air could cause the fire to resume at any moment.

City officials have established guards to monitor the woods and established measures to prevent any additional harm. The fire approached the city center; and without the emergency workers, Cape Town could have possibly been destroyed.

Cape Town: Monday Evacuations

The fire started on Sunday, but the flames began at the peak of Table Mountain. Devil’s Peak, one of the most popular spots on the mountain, was seen bursting into flames throughout the day on Sunday.

The fire continued through the night. Initially; there were no plans for evacuations, but workers could not prevent the fire from sloping down the mountain into Cape Town. On early Monday, people in danger zones were evacuated as the flames touched down in the city.

At this moment, people in the city were alerted. The entire population was warned, and they became prepared to move further away from Table Mountain if necessary.

Equipment Utilized

The Cape Town fire was detained in 24 hours; but it took a little time to begin the firefighting effort on the mountain. Firefighter helicopters were the primary machines used to fight the flames. The firefighters were picking up water from swimming pools and throwing it on the fire.

They also utilized water from the South Atlantic Ocean to combat the fire. They worked throughout the night on Sunday, but they could not fly in the area on Monday. Firefighters were forced to utilize the ground to battle the final flares.

The winds were so strong that the helicopters could not fly over the mountain. The South African Army was prepared to help with heavier machinery, but they were not necessary on Monday.

Injuries and Arrests

Four firefighters were injured while defending Cape Town from the fire. No first responders or citizens died; which is positive, and nobody is in critical condition. This is significant considering that 250 firefighters were used to battle the fire, and thousands were evacuated.

There was also an arrest made following the final flame being displaced. A man in his thirties was arrested for allegedly trying to keep the fires burning. It’s unclear if he was responsible for starting the fire.

There will likely be more arrests because witnesses saw three people starting fires as Table Mountain was burning to the ground. Wildfires are expected at this time of the year, so the city is closely monitoring the situation.

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