Firefighters have been working since Sunday morning to extinguish the runaway fire that has engulfed Rhodes Memorial and is spreading towards the University of Cape Town.
SANParks Table Mountain National Park urged all hikers within the Newlands and Rhodes Memorial area to urgently evacuate the area and move any cars parked there.
“The fire is currently out of control and we request that all onlookers please refrain from entering the area and keep the area clear for emergency vehicles to pass,” it said in a statement.
Several videos have emerged of the speed at which the fire, compounded by wind, is spreading.
One of the videos shared on social media is from a cyclist who described the overpowering heat he felt as he was standing metres away from the blaze.
— Athi Mtongana (@Artii_M) April 18, 2021
Athlete Lisette Lombard posted a video of herself saying that she was trying to “outrun” the blaze, but had seemingly lost her car to the fire.
“I am trying to outrun the fire. I think my car just got burnt at Rhodes Memorial. It’s spreading like wildfire.”
I think my Car has been destroyed as I cannot reach Rhodes Memorial and think I managed to outrun the fire -can anyone tell me if the cars at Rhodes Memorial are safe and where do I need to run to get away from the fire? Newlands Forest? @wo_fire @cptfrs #fire #CapeTown pic.twitter.com/d0xICuvupS
— Lisette Lombard (@LisLombard) April 18, 2021
Many users took to social media to express support for the work of firefighting crews from the City of Cape Town, Working on Fire and Table Mountain National Park who have been battling to put out the blaze.
Strong winds are compounding their battle.
Firefighters from the City of Cape Town, Working on Fire and Table Mountain National Park fight the fire which started at 8.45am on Sunday.
🎥: Ruvan Boshoff pic.twitter.com/q9lx6h6ELk
— Yasantha Naidoo (@yasantha) April 18, 2021
Some have encouraged members of the public to drop off essential items for the crews at various fire stations.