9 people treated for smoke inhalation, 6 firefighters injured in CT fire

In total, 11 structures were damaged or destroyed over the past three days.

Firefighting teams dampen smouldering vegetation, finally getting a fierce forest fire under control on the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town on 19 April 2021. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP

CAPE TOWN - Nine people have had to be hospitalised due to smoke inhalation and six firefighters have been injured in the line of duty.

In total, 11 structures were damaged or destroyed over the past three days.

Local Government and Environmental Affairs MEC spokesperson James-Brent Styan on Tuesday said: “The main priority right now remain extinguishing the fire lines then over the next few days, we’ll dampen down the affected areas and monitor for flare ups until we’re 100% sure that the fire is completely out.”

READ: Cape Town residents evacuated from fire-threatened homes now allowed to return

At the same time, the City of Cape Town is counting the cost of the devastating Table Mountain fire, as firefighters welcome better weather conditions.

Disaster Risk Management is coordinating joint damage assessments before initiating repairs to roadways and other infrastructure. Fire debris also has to be cleared.

Disaster Risk spokesperson Charlotte Powell said: “The electricity department has advised that no major damage has occurred to the medium voltage infrastructure, however, some lines at affected buildings have been damaged. The environmental service is doing ongoing water sampling at the to ensure that any ash from the fire does not affect the water quality.”

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Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has urged residents to remain vigilant while pleading with them to avoid starting fires.

Winde - along with disaster management teams - held a briefing on Tuesday afternoon to update the nation on the continuous firefighting efforts on Table Mountain and surrounding areas.

Much of the blaze has been contained but fire crews are looking out for flare ups.

The sweltering heat in Cape Town remains a concern, but strong winds have died down and aerial resources have been deployed.

Premier Winde said the sound of helicopters brings welcome relief.

“We’ve heard that sound across the city the whole day and that’s a reassuring sound that tells us we’re now able to put water on the fire, which we weren’t able to do when those high winds were blowing.”

The City of Cape Town’s JP Smith explains where the key focus areas are.

“The main threat today remains the Vredehoek situation at the top and Zonnebloem is closed off now.”

Winde has thanked firefighters for their unrelenting efforts.

“In this past year, we’ve been talking about frontline workers and they’ve all been in the health environment, but in the last two days, the frontline workers have been in the heat of putting out this fire.”

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