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Mon Apr 19, 2021, 11:28 AM

South Africa wildfire burns University of Cape Town, library of African antiquities

Source: Washington Post

Africa

South Africa wildfire burns University of Cape Town, library of African antiquities

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=

Flames close to Cape Town, South Africa, are fanned by strong winds April 19 after a bush fire broke out on the slopes of the city's Table Mountain. (Mike Hutchings/Reuters)

By Lesley Wroughton
April 19, 2021 at 8:21 a.m. EDT

CAPE TOWN, South Africa ó Cape Town ordered precautionary evacuations of communities living along the edges of city landmark Table Mountain on Monday as firefighters struggled to contain a fire that gutted historical landmarks, including the oldest working windmill in South Africa and a library housing African antiquities at the University of Cape Town.

The fire started Sunday morning near the memorial to colonial leader Cecil Rhodes and quickly spread uncontrolled beneath Devilís Peak in Table Mountain National Park in an area popular with weekend hikers and cyclists.

By Monday morning, strong southeasterly winds, which were expected to reach more than 30 miles per hour (50 km/h) later in the day, had pushed the fire toward densely populated areas above Cape Town city. Well-known tourist sites, such as the Table Mountain aerial cableway, were temporarily closed.

A line of thick smoke billowed along the edge of Devilís Peak toward the top of the mountain above the city, engulfing some office buildings and the Cape Town port in a choking white cloud. Hikers, park visitors, visitors to the nearby Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and hundreds of students from the university campus were evacuated Sunday.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/04/18/south-africa-fire-university-cape-town/

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