Areas of Table Mountain National Park which was closed off last week due to the public due to the raging wildfire, have now been reopened and activities such as hiking and dog-walking are now allowed to resume.
Park Manager Frans Van Rooyen says permitted recreational activities will be allowed to resume in the following areas which have been reopened:
- Newlands Forest
- Devils Peak towards Platteklip footpath
- Molteno jeep track towards Kloofnek
- Atlantic Seaboard (Camps Bay, Kasteelspoort etc)
- Constantia Nek
- Lions head
- Signal hill
- Cecilia Forest
South African National Parks (SANParks) estimates that more than 600 hectares of wildland has been destroyed in Cape Town after the fire.
The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy visited Table Mountain National Park to examine the extent of the damage the fire caused.
"When you go up in the helicopter, you can see part of the mountain looks like the surface of the moon. All the vegetation is completely destroyed. There are other areas where trees are still smouldering, and we still have crews responsible for the mop-up operations on the mountain."
Creecy commended firefighters for their work saying that the damage could have been worse as a clear line could be seen where the fire was stopped by the firefighters in the city bowl.
SANParks has also thanked firefighters and all those who helped to contain the fire.
“The devastating fires across the Table Mountain National Park have brought home the value of partnerships and working together as a community to manage this National park we all love. Without the collective efforts of the 125 Table Mountain National Park rangers, the 170 fire and rescue workers, the South African National Defence Force, City of Cape Town personnel, law enforcement and the many volunteers, the damage, as devastating as it was, could have been much worse,” said SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni.
Van Rooyen has urged those who are visiting Table Mountain to remain on demarcated footpaths and to remain mindful of rules pertaining to keeping dogs under control.
Other areas of the National Park will remain closed until further notice "in the interest of the safety and the sensitivity of certain areas post-fire", said Van Rooyen in his statement.
"This will allow the rangers an opportunity to resume with the rehabilitation work including tree cutting and footpath maintenance," said Van Rooyen.
Closed areas include: Devils peak slopes; Deer Park; Rhodes Memorial; Kings Blockhouse; Devils peak contour footpath; Newlands ravine; Newlands contour path; Woodstock cave; Tafelberg road beyond the chain; Deadman’s tree; Bridle road intersection; Platteklip; Washhouses boardwalk; Rocklands access point; Newlands Picnic site; Murray & Stewart quarry( Old quarry); Mostert Mill( Mowbray footbridge) and Old Zoo sites.