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

The city centre remained cloaked in a blanket of smoke, as dozens of firefighters monitored flare ups near Philip Kgosana Drive, Deer Park Drive and at Devil’s Peak.

This picture taken in Cape Town on 18 April 2021 shows a fire-fighting helicopter picking up water from a reservoir to help extinguish a forest fire burning out of control on the foothills of Table Mountain, above the University of Cape Town. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town said that residents who had been evacuated because of the mountain fires could now return to their homes.

Firefighting efforts have entered a third day on the slopes of Table Mountain.

The blaze has turned hundreds of hectares of forest and veld into ash.

READ: Cape Town resident describes catching Table Mountain arson suspect in the act

The city centre remained cloaked in a blanket of smoke, as dozens of firefighters monitored flare-ups near Philip Kgosana Drive, Deer Park Drive and at Devil’s Peak.

The airborne assault on the flames resumed on Tuesday morning as the wind's died down considerably.

On foot and from the skies, it's been a grueling battle.

The fire and rescue service’s Jermaine Carelse: "I take my hat off to the guys that have put in hard, hard yards these last couple fo days. Luckily today, there's no wind but it's going to be a scorcher in the Mother City but if we hit the hot spots early enough it will make work easier for the rest of the week."

Carelse explained what resources were being utilised: "There's two choppers that are flying up early, then there would be two Oryx helicopters from the SANDF, 30 plus fire engines, your sketch units, your bravo units and water tankers."

At the same time, a man accused of starting an illegal fire near Devil's Peak has appeared in court.

Frederick Mhangazo has been charged with arson and the case has been postponed to 28 April.

It's not been established whether the fire he started spread or led to any devastation.

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