Thousands evacuated as forest fires spread to Table Mountain in Cape Town | World news

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Historic Mostert Mill bakes as firefighters fight to contain a blaze that broke out on the slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town


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Thousands of people are evacuated from Table Mountain in Cape Town, where winds continue to fuel forest fires towards neighborhoods.

About 250 firefighters are trying to control the blaze as thick smoke obscures visibility throughout the city center.

Reports say as many as 50,000 people have been moved to safety as helicopters continued to drop water on threatened areas.

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Table Mountain firefighters evacuate Cape Town

Residents of three 17-story apartment buildings overlooking Cape Town were being evacuated as fires grew out of control along Table Mountain.

The fire broke out on Sunday morning on the slopes of Devil’s Peak, another part of Cape Town’s mountainous backdrop.

This forced University of Cape Town students to be evacuated as flames burned down several campus buildings, including a library housing historical book collections and scripts.

The university, ranked among the best on the continent, is largely built on the slopes of Devil’s Peak and is located close to where the fire started.

Other damaged properties include the popular hikers’ restaurant at the Rhodes Memorial and the thatched-roof Mostert Mill, built around 1796 and the oldest working mill in South Africa.

Officials said two firefighters suffered burns and were in hospital as a change in wind direction saw the fire spread rapidly towards the town bowl overnight.

Witnesses said the winds continued to sweep the fires and smoke towards Cape Town and “were spreading fairly quickly”.

Image:
Historic Mostert mill fired after being caught in forest fires

Plumes of smoke could be seen from afar as some roads were closed and fire alerts were sent to mountain hikers.

Sky News Africa correspondent John Sparks said: “A really nasty fire right in the center of South Africa’s second largest city.

“It started yesterday morning like a small wildfire, but the hot temperatures and high winds really fueled this fire.

Firefighters tackle flames as University of Cape Town library burns after fire broke out on the slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town
Image:
Firefighters fight blazes at University of Cape Town

“He started this fire on the slopes of Table Mountain and it is really worrying for the inhabitants and the authorities of this city. “

City officials have confirmed that a suspect was arrested last night at Devil’s Peak amid speculation that additional fires may have been started and whether the original blaze was deliberately started in an act of ‘criminal fire.

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