Expect to see some official fires in Table Mountain National Park in July

If you see some fires in Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) over the winter period, don't fret - it's all necessary to protect against the real danger come summer.

The prescribed burning started in June and will continue into the month of July, and TMNP management will be doing the multiple stack burns with strict measures in place. They also have a permit from the City of Cape Town to undertake the burning.

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"TMNP management appreciates that such burning is a source of concern for many Cape Town residents, however, it must be stated that wildfires could possibly occur if the area is not maintained and an uncontrolled fire or wildfire could pose a huge risk to life and property on the urban edge," says TMNP in a statement.

"The removal of dry flammable material by means of a prescribed burn will reduce the likelihood of future uncontrolled wildfires."

The fires will also help the fynbos that depend on fires as well as exterminate alien vegetation.

This might make residents nervous for a reason. The City is constantly plagued by fires during summertime, while certain areas have only just recovered from the spate of massive fires in 2015 and 2016. 

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These prescribed fires however will only be done under the following weather conditions:

  • Temperatures under 25°C;
  • Moderate winds of less than 20km/h;
  • Two to three days after light rain has fallen.

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These are the areas where burning will take place within the park:

  • Cape Point (including Pheiffer and Jupiter Street in Ocean View)
  • Tokai Plantation
  • Cecilia (Close to Kirstenbosch)
  • Newlands
  • Schotekloof (Cape Town)
  • Twelve Apostle Battery,
  • Karbonkelberg
  • Constantia Nek
  • Kloofnekbos

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Residents in close proximity to these sites will be informed before a burn takes place.

"When the burn occurs, surrounding residents are advised to please keep their windows shut while burning takes place. Flammable items such as gas canisters should be removed from outside areas and laundry should be taken off washing lines to prevent odour contamination from the smoke," advises TMNP.

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