WATCH: Simon's Town house 'well alight' as peninsula wildfire closes in
A house in Simon’s Town was “well alight” at 5pm on Wednesday after hundreds of southern peninsula residents were told to flee a wildfire.
City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the house was in Paradise Road‚ Bayview Heights.
The main road to Simon’s Town and the Glencairn Expressway were closed as the fire‚ which started above Ocean View on Wednesday morning‚ raced across the peninsula mountains.
Residents were told to access Simon's Town via Cape Point but disaster risk management spokesperson Mandy Thomas said there was a smoke hazard and visibility was low.
She said residents with respiratory conditions should avoid the area.
Fire-fighters and helicopters‚ including two air force choppers‚ were battling the fire in a strong north-westerly wind.
People in Da Gama Park‚ Pinehaven‚ Red Hill‚ Glen Marine and parts of Simon’s Town were advised to leave their homes with their animals and important documents‚ and report to community centres.
Seventeen Golden Arrow buses were sent to the Simon’s Town naval base to assist with evacuations and the city council water treatment plant was also evacuated‚ said Thomas.
“All the city’s safety and security services are on scene as well as disaster risk management volunteers‚ NSRI and Cape Medical Response.”
Two troops of baboons were also escorted to safety across busy roads. The troops — one with 39 individuals and another with 55 — were being led out of danger by monitors‚ said the baboon technical team control manager Kay Montgomery.
She said the Slangkop troop was safely behind the fire near Kommetjie‚ but they were having trouble moving the Da Gama troop.
“They've been trying to move them across the Glencairn Expressway for the past hour and a half. They can't get them to move‚ and the troop naturally wants to go to Capri‚” she said.
She said monitors lost sight of another troop which was directly in the path of the fire‚ due to thick smoke.
Volunteers from the Tears animal rescue centre in Kommetjie helped to evacuate tortoises from the path of the inferno.
The City of Cape Town fire and rescue services said they were stretched to their maximum by 11 fires across the city.