South African air force to support fire fighting on Table Mountain National Park

2021-04-19 12:55:42 GMT2021-04-19 20:55:42(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CAPE TOWN, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The South African National Defence Force will fly the helicopters as soon as weather permits to support fire fighting on the ongoing wildfire on Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town, the Western Cape government said Monday.

The military's air resources were activated on Monday morning and are on standby, while the operation hasn't started due to the strong wind, the provincial government said in a statement.

"As soon as the weather permits, the air force will be in the air," it said, adding that the military's Oryx helicopter can carry a water payload of 2,000 liters per drop.

Over 250 firefighters from the City of Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park, are working on containing the fire and Volunteer Wildfire Services remain on the ground, according to the province.

The fire is not under control, and strong wind is a major factor, the city municipality said, adding that the firefighting is concentrated in Vredehoek area, Philip Kgosana Drive and University of Cape Town (UCT), on the slopes of Table Mountain.

Four firefighters have been injured and are receiving medical treatment, the city said.

Residences and schools in parts of Vredehoek have been evacuated.

South African National Parks (SANParks) estimated that roughly 400 hectares of wildland have been destroyed so far while the City of Cape Town has reported eight structures, including the historical Mostert's Mill built around 1796 and four buildings on UCT campus, damaged or destroyed in the fire that broke out on Sunday morning. Enditem