The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service continues to monitor the hotspots amid an increase in the number of fires reported around the Peninsula in recent days.
A crew of 50 Fire and Rescue Service members, supported by various other agencies, are maintaining a presence in Red Hill, Scarborough, Misty Cliffs, Ocean View and Kommetjie to monitor flare-ups should they occur.
The city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said this was imperative considering the prevailing wind conditions, which could accelerate the pace at which fires burn.
Smith appealed to residents and visitors to be extremely cautious when handling flammable items or material.
“Now, more than ever, common sense is needed. I appeal to smokers to be mindful of how they are discarding of cigarette butts. Only make fires in designated areas and if you rely on candles or paraffin stoves, do not leave them unattended under any circumstances,” he said.
Between last Thursday and Monday, the Fire and Rescue Service responded to 495 fire calls. This, according to the city, equates to an average of 99 incidents a day.
Of the 495 calls, 428 were in the category classified as bush, grass and rubbish fires.
Recent incidents include vegetation fires on Devil’s Peak, Signal Hill and in the South Peninsula.
“The gale-force southeaster has been our worst nightmare as it has simply accelerated the pace at which the fires have burned, with devastating consequences as seen in the Rasta Camp settlement in Ocean View, as well as the two informal settlement fires in Khayelitsha and Mfuleni over the weekend that claimed three lives,” Smith said.
Smith said police have also set up a task team to investigate claims that some fires are being deliberately set.
Any fires should be reported to the City of Cape Town’s Public Emergency Communication Centre as soon as possible by dialling 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone.