Fire fighters putting out widespread fires in Cape Town

The Cape Town fire started on the famous Table Mountain range and quickly advanced down into neighbouring suburbs and the University of Cape Town's buildings.

Photo by RODGER BOSCH/AFP via Getty Images

Wild Cape Town Fire Mostly Contained

A 35-year-old man has reportedly been arrested on charges of arson. This, after firefighters had been battling to put out the Cape Town fire that caused extensive damage.

The Cape Town fire, which had been ablaze for more than 24 hours was reportedly contained by over 250 firefighters. The fire started on the famous Table Mountain range this past Sunday morning, and quickly advanced down into neighbouring suburbs and university buildings. Additionally, a man has been arrested after he and two others were found setting bushes alight, which counteracted the firefighters' efforts.

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The man, according to Cape Talk, is 35 and was arrested after residents spotted a group of three men deliberately setting bushes alight and alerted emergency services. Police responded immediately and arrested one of them, who is till in custody on charges of arson.

Scenes of firefighters and firefighting helicopters carrying thousands of litres of water have been doing the rounds on social media under #CapeTownFires. The fire, which was propelled by strong winds, took on an uncontrollable turn when it got to the University of Cape Town (UCT) where it destroyed invaluable infrastructure that housed the African studies archives. Students living on campus, at the Smuts and Fuller Hall residences specifically, had to be evacuated immediately. The students turned to social media for housing and emotional support. South African organisations, alumni and the general public were quick to respond with meal offers and temporary housing.

A portion of valuable African literature archives, which were stored in a vault under the destroyed Jagger Library, have reportedly been saved from the fires. Emergency services are currently monitoring the sites for more fire outbreaks. The City of Cape Town will issue out a report detailing the damage in due time.