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Fine weather forecast is good news for Cape Town’s firefighters


Weather Service forecaster Henning Grobler said things were finally looking up for firefighters who had been battling fires since Sunday.

Firefighting teams dampen smouldering vegetation, finally getting a fierce forest fire under control on the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town on 19 April 2021. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP

CAPE TOWN – The weather outlook bodes well for firefighting efforts on Table Mountain.

Windy conditions had grounded aerial support for two days, but since Tuesday morning water-bombing helicopters have been in the air.

A fire broke out on Sunday morning and by the afternoon, residents in the surrounding areas and students at the University of Cape Town had to be evacuated.

READ: Cape Town resident describes catching Table Mountain arson suspect in the act

At this stage the fire is largely contained.

Weather Service forecaster Henning Grobler said things were finally looking up for firefighters.

“There’s been quite a change in weather conditions between yesterday and today. Today we have seen fine weather conditions persisting. The wind has calmed down. There is almost no wind outside.”

The South Easter might be slightly stronger tomorrow, but nothing too concerning.

“I don’t foresee any problems weather-wise with all the fires going around, so I think they need to use the time today to kill the fires and get it over and done with,” said Grobler.

READ: Cape Town residents evacuated from fire-threatened homes now allowed to return

Working on Fire’s Melany Duthie-Surtie said the fire has been largely contained.

“There are a lot of hotspots within the burned area and with a little bit of a breeze, it can ignite and create a flame.

“However, there’s no need to be alarmed. Our firefighters are on site and they will attend to all flare-ups.”

Thick smoke has blanketed large parts of the city bowl this week, while the strong wind has blown bits of debris and soot in the air.

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