A wildfire on the slopes of South Africa’s Table Mountain has spread to the nearby campus of the University of Cape Town, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of students, authorities say.
The fire spread quickly after breaking out Sunday morning near a monument to politician Cecil Rhodes. A restaurant was destroyed.
The university’s historic library and other buildings were also affected.
Four helicopters bombard the flames with water.
South Africa’s National Parks said firefighters were alerted at 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT). The flames spread quickly due to low humidity and dry brush.
The fire created its own wind, further increasing the rate of spread, he added, estimating that firefighters would need at least three days to control the blaze.
“After the initial investigation, the origin of the fire is presumed to be from an unoccupied vagrant fire,” he said.
More than 120 firefighters have been deployed to the area and one had to be sent to the hospital for treatment for burns.
The fire partially destroyed the Jagger Library at the University of Cape Town and the historic Mostert’s Mill. Other buildings were also affected.
“All UCT students have been evacuated from campus by emergency services support personnel,” the university said on Twitter.
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the Jagger Library at the University of Cape Town
Residents in the area have been warned about the smoke and soot in the air and told to keep windows and doors closed.
Meanwhile, hikers in Table Mountain National Park have been urged to leave and drivers who have parked in the area have been told to pick up their vehicles.