Fire rages on foothills of Cape Town's Table Mountain
Students evacuate from their residences of the University of Cape Town as a forest fire burns out of control on the foothills of Table Mountain, above the University of Cape Town, in Cape Town, on April 18, 2021. (RODGER BOSCH / AFP)
(AFP) - At least one firefighter has been injured as emergency services fight to contain a fire that broke out Sunday in the foothills of Cape Town's landmark Table Mountain, city authorities said Sunday.
The blaze, has already destroyed a restaurant alongside a statue of British colonial icon Cecil Rhodes, AFP journalists reported from the scene.
As strong winds fanned the blaze, hundreds of University of Cape Town students had to flee their dormitories on foot along the main road as their library burned.
Cape Town's mayor Dan Plato said at least one firefighter was being treated for burns in hospital.
Private homes and and historical structures such as the Mostert's Hill windmill had been damaged in the fire, said a statement from the city authorities.
Table Mountain National Park, which spreads over much of the city's unbuilt area, called on social media for hikers to leave the area and for motorists to remove cars parked in the vicinity.
A first alert went up shortly before 9:00 am (0700 GMT), city authorities said.
Three helicopters joined the fight, dumping water on the inferno, they added.
© Agence France-Presse