Residents urged not to evacuate CT fire regions

Cape Town Fire Chief, Ian Schnetler, said there was no need to panic.

Trees go up in smoke on the slopes of the Silvermine Nature Reserve on 2 March 2015 as wildfires burn in Cape Town. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Fire officials have urged residents living in areas surrounding the South Peninsula blazes not to evacuate their homes.

Cape Town Fire Chief, Ian Schnetler, said there was no need to panic.

"Residents don't have to evacuate."

He said the only period of evacuations were on Monday at an old age home in Silvermine Village.

However, as firefighters prepared for a third night battling the extensive blazes, some residents living near the fires in Muizenberg took it upon themselves to evacuate their homes, fearing that the fire would spread further.

Watch: A pilot's view of the Cape fires.

The City of Cape Town on Tuesday said around 300 firefighters were deployed at points across the mountain slopes where fires were still raging, in a bid to curb the roaring flames.

The 250 Working on Fire volunteers arrived from other provinces including the Eastern Cape and Free State to assist with the blazes affecting Tokai, Hout Bay and Chapman's Peak.

Thick smoke fills the air with the flames on the mountain slopes not showing any signs of dying down.


Reports late on Tuesday afternoon said officials were on the scene of 14 vegetation fires in the South Peninsula.

Firefighters were hard at work in areas as far as Mamre and Atlantis, battling blazes which flared up in the past few hours.

Fire service spokesperson Theo Layne said hot, dry and windy conditions meant the fire could take several hours to extinguish.

"We had to evacuate a number of animals on the farm and they have been taken to a place of safety."

Meanwhile, another fire closed off the N2 in both directions near Houw Hoek.

Listen: A firefighter tells his side of the story.

All pictures by Aletta Gardner/EWN.