Families living in Sea Point area of Cape Town have left their homes on Sunday evening as flames that engulfed Lion’s Head mountain near Quarry Signal Hill moved towards them by a very strong south-easterly wind.
Roads have been closed in and around the affected areas to allow firefighters access. But the City fire and rescue department not issuing any official evacuation order to residents.
Bad wind conditions were complicating efforts to bring the blaze under control, according to Western Cape local government spokesperson James-Brent Styan.
Video and photographs of the fire flooded social media, with some describing the scene as “Armageddon”. Images showed thick black smoke in the sky as the blaze swept close to the affluent neighbourhood of Fresnaye.
Emma Smith, a resident from a block of flats in Fresnaye, told “I was told to evacuate by people in my block, probably about two and half hours ago, I got knocks on my door from my neigbours saying that we had to move out because the fire was coming closer.”
The city’s Fire and Rescue spokesperson Theo Layne said there was no evacuation needed at this point and residential properties along the affected areas were being monitored, but added that the fire was being fanned by a strong southeasterly wind.
“Currently we have more than 70 firefighters with about 20 firefighting vehicles on the scene.” The Signal Hill Road remains closed and as needed additional roads will be closed in the Sea Point area,” he said.