One person arrested in connection with Table Mountain fire

As firefighters battled the fire break between Rhodes Memorial and the slopes above Vredehoek, they received several calls that people were making fires in the bush.

Firefighters leave an area where the flames become too aggressive, as a forest fire burns out of control on the foothills of Table Mountain, above the University of Cape Town, in Cape Town, on 18 April 2021. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP

CAPE TOWN - A man is in custody on suspicion of starting one of the fires that's still raging on the slopes of Table Mountain.

As firefighters battled the fire break between Rhodes Memorial and the slopes above Vredehoek, they received several calls that people were making fires in the bush.

"Two calls in rapid succession indicating that they had seen people moving through the bush starting fires, three individuals."

READ:
Fire wreaks destruction on UCT
All students evacuated from UCT campus as fire rages on
More evacuations ordered as Table Mountain fire rages on
• UCT management, fire authorities to assess damage caused by fire

The City of Cape Town's JP Smith said that when law enforcement officials arrived, they found a resident had detained one person.

On questioning him, he initially said that he was trying to stop the fire and then said that he had started it.

"It won't be clear until all the documentation, all the investigation, all the witness statements are in. When the officer asked him, he said 'but I started the fire' and the officer then asked him if he meant the original fire. He may have accidentally let the fire get out of his control from cooking or otherwise. This will have to now be a criminal investigation and there is going to be substantial consequences for him."

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