Our Burning Planet

PHOTO ESSAY

UCT burns: Mountain inferno wreaks havoc in Mother City

A firefighter battles the blaze that destroyed the nearly 200-year-old Jagger Library on the University of Cape Town campus on 18 April. A fire on the slopes of Table Mountain National Park raged out of control in strong winds and caused extensive damage to UCT and many buildings around the nearly 200-year-old university, founded in 1829. All students were evacuated from campus and several firefighters were injured. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)

A fire ravaged parts of Cape Town on Sunday 18 April. Firefighters fought to contain the runaway veld fire which spread along the slopes of Table Mountain and gutted parts of Rhodes Memorial and the University of Cape Town (UCT). UCT students have been evacuated from residences and a firefighter has been taken to hospital to be treated for burns, according to the City of Cape Town. The historic Mostert’s Mill in Mowbray was destroyed in the blaze.

Plumes of smoke billow from a fire sweeping over Philip Kgosana Drive towards Rhodes Memorial and the University of Cape Town. The blaze destroyed parts of Rhodes Memorial and UCT. (Photo: Misha Jordaan / Gallo Images)
Firefighters battle the blaze that destroyed the nearly 200-year-old Jagger Library on the University of Cape Town campus. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)
A firefighter prepares to battle the blaze at the Jagger Library at UCT. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)
Smoke rises over the slopes of the Table Mountain National Park while a helicopter releases water to douse the blaze. (Photo: Misha Jordaan / Gallo Images)
A helicopter dumps water on the blaze at the University of Cape Town. A bushfire on the slopes of the Table Mountain National Park raged out of control in strong winds and caused extensive damage to the University of Cape Town and many buildings around the nearly 200-year-old university. Students were evacuated from campus and several firefighters were injured. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)
Firefighters at the blaze that destroyed the Jagger Library on the University of Cape Town campus. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)
Thick smoke blankets the University of Cape Town campus while firefighters battle the blaze. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)
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All Comments 2

  • What a disaster. Alumni we need to rally behind UCT so that the current students can continue to reap the benefits we enjoyed.

  • UCT is the most beautiful university in the world – and I have taught at a few!
    Let us all dig deep and make a contribution to rebuilding where the fire left its mark.
    And heartfelt thanks to the firefighters who did their best to bring it under control.