Burnt sections on Table Mountain reopened after fire

Posted by Zimasa Katamzi on 5 July 2021

South African National Park (SANParks) announced the re-opening of certain burnt areas which have been closed off to the public since April following a fire that started in the Rhodes Memorial area.

Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) Park Manager Frans van Rooyen says ‘the rehabilitation work started immediately after the fire with attention given to both restoring access as well as the natural elements. Now, three months after the fire, fynbos recovery is showing great progress and mountain lovers can once again look forward to their favourite hikes and to see the wonders of fynbos.’

Re-Opening of Burnt Areas in the Northern Section of Table Mountain National Park

The recovery of fynbos had been closely monitored by a number of scientists, studying the return of plants and animals after the fire. Van Rooyen confirmed that more work is currently in progress and SANParks has appointed a contractor that is currently cutting trees. The following areas remain closed until further notice as there are still dangerous trees that need to be cut:

  • Rhodes Memorial/Estate
  • Game Camp
  • Deer Park

Park management has therefore been advised to open the burnt area in a phased approach, where veld recovery and footpath rebuilding have shown good progress. Van Rooyen continues to say: ‘Teams have been hard at work implementing rehabilitation plans to allow for the re-opening of certain areas and we request users and visitors to these areas to continue exercising patience and allow the rehabilitation work to proceed without any obstructions.’

Permitted recreational activities in the re-opened areas will continue as before, including hiking and dog walking with people kindly requested to remain on demarcated footpaths and to be mindful of rules pertaining to keeping dogs under control. Re-opened park areas following the fires include:

  • Quarries
  • Devil’s Peak
  • King’s Blockhouse
  • Devil’s Peak Lower Slopes
  • Rhodes Contour Path

Re-opened entry points include:

  • Quarries
  • Devil’s Peak footpaths and Peak
  • King’s Blockhouse
  • Devil’s Peak Lower Slopes
  • Dead Man’s Tree
  • Contour Path at Round Table Newlands Ravine

SANParks has decided to allow members of the public to collect pinewood once the cutting is done. If anyone is interested in collecting pine wood, they must contact the Kloofnek office on 021 422 1601 or email [email protected] to make necessary arrangements. We won’t allow anyone to collect wood without making proper arrangements to do so beforehand.

‘We plead for more patience and ask that users assist us by remaining out of the closed areas while Mother Nature heals herself. SANParks wishes to thank the members of the public for the ongoing support and will continue to provide updates on progress made as information becomes available and we would like to thank you for your patience and cooperation during this time…’ concludes Van Rooyen.

PICTURE: Unsplash

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