Table Mountain National Park conducts ‘prescribed burn’ along Tafeberg Road to reduce the likelihood of future uncontrolled wildfires

Residents along Tafelberg Road, Cape Town, can expect a bit of smoke to linger in the area for the next few days. This comes after the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) conducted a biodiversity prescribed burns in the Northern Section of the park on Wednesday morning.

In a statement, TMNP said these prescribed burn will take place between March and April under favorable weather conditions, i.e. temperatures under 25°C, moderate winds of less than 20km/hr and 2-3 days after light rain have fallen.

PICTURE: Table Mountain National Park

‘’Although we appreciate that such burning is a source of concern to many Cape Town residents, it must be stated that wild fires will occur and an uncontrolled fire or wildfire could pose a huge risk to life and property on the urban edge.  The removal of dry flammable material by means of a prescribed burn will reduce the likelihood of future uncontrolled wildfires.’’

‘’Fynbos vegetation is both fire-prone and fire-adapted and the use of fire forms an integral part of the ecological management of the park. TMNP Fire Management Department together with the SANParks Cape Research Centre has developed a scientific Prescribed Burning Plan for the entire park – this plan determines and prioritizes areas for prescribed burning, taking into consideration veld age, rare and endangered species, alien clearing etc.  (biodiversity as well as protection of properties),’’ it added.

Park management said conducting prescribed burns in fynbos vegetation are necessary as it reduces fire hazards by reducing the unnecessary “fuel” accumulated in field as a result of Alien Plant Clearing operations; To rejuvenate the fire-adapted and fire-dependent fynbos vegetation; and to form an essential part of control operations aimed at eliminating invasive alien plants.

‘’When the burn takes place, surrounding residents are advised to please keep their windows shut while burning takes place. Flammable items such as gas canisters should be removed from outside areas and laundry should be taken off washing lines to prevent odor contamination from the smoke. (pets, asthma),’’ said Philip Prins, Fire Manager at TMNP, said

‘’All owners and occupiers of adjacent properties have a right to lodge written queries/objections to the proposed open burning with the City by seven days after publication,’’ he added.

Table Mountain National Park fire management said by 12p.m, it had to close out the prescribed burn, due to deteriorating weather conditions and has decided to stop burning at this stage.

‘’Please note that @NCCWildfires Working on Fire and the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services remain on scene to conduct mop up operations in the area. Crews will be operating in the area for the next week or so.’’


Done By: Mitchum George