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At least 500 hectares of land destroyed in Table Mountain fire: SANParks

20 April 2021 8:40 AM
Tags:
SANParks
Cape Town
Reynold Thakhuli
Fynbos
Table mountain fire
City of Cape Town firefighters

SANParks estimates that more than 500 hectares of wildland has been destroyed in Cape Town in the fire that sparked on Table Mountain.

SANParks spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli says the extent of the damage is still being assessed.

Roughly 165 firefighters have been working around the clock to suppress the ongoing fire.

According to SANParks, 80% of the fire had been contained by 6pm on Monday.

As the wind subsides in Cape Town on Tuesday morning, firefighters are hoping to bring the raging fire under control.

Over 500 hectares had been burned but we still need to go in and determine the cost of the damage.

Reynold Thakhuli, Media Liaison - SANParks

This morning we'll get to know whether there is additional land or additional areas that have been burned.

Reynold Thakhuli, Media Liaison - SANParks

RELATED: Fynbos does not make for great firebreaks - horticulturalist (Kirstenbosch)

SANParks has in the past conducted controlled fires on Table Mountain National Park in order to reduced dry flammable material.

Thakhuli explains that large fuel loads in a variety of vegetation types, including South Africa's fire-prone fynbos, need to be managed through planned biodiversity burns.

Controlled fires help rejuvenate fynbos vegetation and reduce the likelihood of future uncontrolled wildfires.

RELATED: Forensic expert David Klatzow not convinced vagrant behind Table Mountain blaze

Meanwhile, forensic investigator David Klatzow says SANParks management must be taken to task for improper vegetation management in a formal fire investigation.

In an interview on CapeTalk on Monday, Klatzow suggested that the organisation had not conducted sufficient alien plant clearing in the region of the Rhodes Memorial area where the recent fire spread.

Every 10 or 15 years, we expect that fire happens for the regeneration of fynbos and any other forest species that occur in that area.

Reynold Thakhuli, Media Liaison - SANParks

It's definitely required that if there is no natural fire that occurs, we actually manage those particular fires to start a controlled fire for a period of time.

Reynold Thakhuli, Media Liaison - SANParks

It's one of the functions that we do to ensure that the fuel that occurs naturally on these species are decreased to avoid catastrophic [fires].

Reynold Thakhuli, Media Liaison - SANParks

Listen to the update on Early Breakfast with Africa Melane:




20 April 2021 8:40 AM
Tags:
SANParks
Cape Town
Reynold Thakhuli
Fynbos
Table mountain fire
City of Cape Town firefighters

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