Thousands of people are being evacuated from Table Mountain in Cape Town where winds are continuing to fan forest fires towards neighborhoods.
A raging wildfire spreading across the slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain has torched a university library and forced the evacuation of students from the area.
Images from the scene showed the hollowed out charred remains of the University of Capetown’s Jagger library, which held thousands of original artifacts of African history as part of its Special Collections library.
At least two floors of the building were burned in the fire, according to local news reports. Other campus buildings, and a historic windmill nearby, were also reported to have burned.
Around 250 firefighters are trying to control the blaze as thick smoke obscures visibility throughout the city centre.
Reports said up to 50,000 people were being moved to safety as helicopters continued to drop water on threatened areas.
It forced University of Cape Town students to be evacuated as flames set several campus buildings ablaze, including a library housing historic book collections and scripts.
The university, ranked among the best on the continent, is largely built on the slopes of Devil’s Peak and is situated close to where the fire started.
Many of those students were taken to local hotels, Gift of the Givers said.
Activities at the university have been shut down until at least Wednesday, the university said.
The charity is also supplying food and water for firefighters who have been working for more than 24 hours to try to control the fire.
No injuries to residents or students have been reported but at least one firefighter was taken to hospital for burn injuries, the city said.
Heavy smoke hung over parts of Cape Town and people were advised to cover their faces with wet towels or rags while being evacuated.
City officials confirmed one suspect was detained last night on Devil’s Peak amid speculation that additional fires may have been started and whether the original fire was deliberately lit in an act of arson