Cape Town experienced a rare electrical storm on Saturday. Image: Caroline Rowbottom

PICS: Lightning strikes cause several fires on Table Mountain

On Sunday, Table Mountain National Park reported several fires that were said to have been be caused by lighting strikes.


Cape Town experienced a rare electrical storm on Saturday. Image: Caroline Rowbottom

SANParks Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) issued an update on Sunday morning regarding the status of several fires that were sparked off by lightning.

Strikes from a rare electrical storm on Saturday caused fires in multiple areas, namely Cecilia Forest, Silvermine, and the Cape Of Good Hope (Cape Point) main road.

These fires have since been contained, TMNP said in their statement.

Photos were captured at 13h30 on Saturday of lightning striking above Table Mountain. Image: Caroline Rowbottom

“The swift response from TMNP’s NCC Environmental Services, along with Volunteer Wildfire Services, Working on Fire crews and the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, played a crucial role in managing the situation,” the statement read.

Fire fighting efforts

TMNP redeployed firefighting teams from the Cape of Good Hope main road fire to address a fire above Skeleton Gorge and the Hely-Hutchinson Reservoir along the Back Table within the park.

Firefighting crews, supported by aerial resources, commenced operations at first light on Sunday morning to contain and manage the fire above Skeleton Gorge.

A number of popular hiking routes were closed off to the public due to fires sparked by lightning strikes. Image: Caroline Rowbottom

However, due to strong winds, aerial operations were temporarily suspended until conditions improved for water bombing operations.

The above ‘striking’ photos of the electrical storm were taken by photographer Caroline Rowbottom from Sunset Beach on Saturday.

Hiking areas that have been affected

TMNP cautioned hikers and runners and asked them to avoid the following areas within the park affected by the fires:

Cape of Good Hope: Hiking routes from Gifkommetjie to Circles Vlei and any trails originating from Olifantsbos, Sirkelvlei hiking trail, and the Link Road cycling route were closed until further notice.

Back Table and Skeleton Gorge – Table Mountain: All footpaths leading to the Back Table from Camps Bay and Hout Bay, Constantia Nek, Cecilia Forest, Kirstenbosch, and Orangekloof hiking trails were also closed until further notice.

Outdoor enthusiasts were asked to be vigilant when carrying out activities above Silvermine.

“Visitors are urged to exercise caution and cooperate with park authorities and firefighting teams during this time,” TMNP added.

The public have been urged to contact emergency services in the event of any emergencies or sightings of new fires at 086 110 6417 or the Newlands Dispatch at 021 689 7438.