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Friends of Table Mountain call for fire hotline and more rangers on mountain

20 April 2021 8:23 AM
Tags:
Table Mountain National Park
fires
#CapeTownFires

Andy Davies says cooking with open fires in the Table Mountain National Park is the cause of many fires on the mountain.

John Maytham talks to Andy Davies about the fire. he says the Table Mountain National Park so close to the urban edge does make the ecosystem vulnerable.

The fynbos will grow back but we all know the fynbos isn't meant to burn this often and unfortunately, because we are living next to the mountain, and the mountain is next to the urban edge, it does burn too regularly as a result of the many fires that are started by vagrants and the public.

Andy Davies, Chairperson - Mountain users’ forum Friends of Table Mountain (FOTM)

There is still uncertainty as to how these latest fires were started.

However, Daily Mavericks' Tiara Walters reports that of the 108 fires in the 2019/2020 summer season, a fire investigation report she has seen, states 60% of those were fires lit for cooking, heating, and socialising.

RELATED: 'SANParks and City have paid scant attention to dire risk of mountain dwellers'

One of our members, Rob Vogel, took a cycle through Deer Park yesterday, as the fire was raging, and he came across three open fires that vagrants were busy cooking on. So, we need to remain sensitive to the housing issue in cape Town, but the fact of the matter is, fires are illegal on TMNP and they are causing a lot of the fires which is causing great harm.

Andy Davies, Chairperson - Mountain users’ forum Friends of Table Mountain (FOTM)

He says, however, credit must be given to the work done by the fire teams this past season.

The fire teams working bravely and diligently on these fires are doing a very good job this summer season.

Andy Davies, Chairperson - Mountain users’ forum Friends of Table Mountain (FOTM)

He says FOTM would like to see the vagrancy issue taken more seriously by both SANParks and the City of Cape Town.

The public reports these fires and vagrancy and nothing gets done which is very frustrating for us.

Andy Davies, Chairperson - Mountain users’ forum Friends of Table Mountain (FOTM)

We have always asked for a hotline for these issues to be reported. Because if you see an open fire, it is not necessarily an emergency, so people are reluctant to phone the emergency number so we would like to see a hotline installed.

Andy Davies, Chairperson - Mountain users’ forum Friends of Table Mountain (FOTM)

He says FOTM wants SANParks to then respond to public calls.

We want to see more rangers on the mountain.

Andy Davies, Chairperson - Mountain users’ forum Friends of Table Mountain (FOTM)

Listen to the interview below:

Photograph: Charl Steenkamp, NCC Environmental Services (permission to use)



20 April 2021 8:23 AM
Tags:
Table Mountain National Park
fires
#CapeTownFires

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