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Help prevent fires on Table Mountain this summer

The iconic Table Mountain has seen visitors use the cableway to the top since October 4, 1929. Picture: Supplied.

The iconic Table Mountain has seen visitors use the cableway to the top since October 4, 1929. Picture: Supplied.

Published Jan 13, 2022

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When fires on Table Mountain flare up it causes grave concern to nearby businesses, residents and stakeholders at large.

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) has cautioned and offered tips to local residents, tourists and stakeholders to take the necessary safety precautions to prevent wildfires on the mountain during the hot summer months.

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Wahida Parker, managing director of TMACC said preventing fires was a collective responsibility for locals, tourists, and stakeholders alike.

“We must play our part in preventing and containing fires on the mountain. When a fire does break out, it often leads to the loss of life as well as damage to fauna and flora and damage to property” she said.

Parker said that social fires and braais were deeply engrained in South African culture, but it was important to be responsible at all times.

“The right precautions should always be observed to ensure that everyone is kept safe, and the fire remains contained,” said Parker.

TMACC offered the following tips to ensure fire safety throughout the summer season.

Respect all restrictions

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The most crucial step to take is to limit making fires in an area where it has been designated by TMNP as safe to do so. Abiding by the rules is the most helpful and responsible step to take to avoid dangerous scenarios. It is also important to remember that adhering to these restrictions is not optional, but enforceable by law.

Remain cautious of wind

Weather is a significant determining factor in fire management, especially during the summer months. Cape Town sees a lot of wind during the months of December, January and February, which makes controlling veldfires very difficult.

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When there is a fire, avoid going near the mountain at all costs and remain in a safe, fire-free area. Only revisit the mountain when officials of TMNP have signalled that it is safe to do so.

Call the relevant authorities in case of an emergency

Let the relevant authorities know as soon as possible. The TMNP has a specialised hotline for fires, which can be contacted on 086 110 6417. Alternatively, the City of Cape Town’s Regional Fire Control can be contacted on 021 590 1900, while the Newlands Fire Base is reachable by 021 689 7438.

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Parker said that if everyone worked together and took responsibility for their safety and that of others, the iconic Table Mountain could be preserved.

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