13 Mar Tokai, Silvermine to remain closed to public
The following press release was received from SanParks: “In the interest of public safety as well as for the protection of the environmental integrity of the Silvermine and Tokai sections of Table Mountain National Park, park management decided that these two areas will remain closed to the public until further notice.
TMNP management understands that users are eager to access these areas, however they remain very sensitive and unsafe, and public use of these areas are off limits due to:
- Smouldering and burning vegetation still needs to be extinguished as flare-ups will occur as stumps and roots burn.
- Standing trees that have been burnt or damaged by the fire are extremely dangerous as they continue to come down in the area.
- Recently burnt veld (as well as adjacent areas) is hazardous as the fire will have burnt roots underground and foot falls may cause serious injuries.
- Unstable slopes may result in rock falls.
- Winds and rain may exacerbate the danger with respect to falling trees, branches, rock falls and mudslides.
- Hazardous clear-felling operations of the burnt plantation trees are underway by Cape Pine.
- Disturbance to surviving animals.
- Burnt areas are sensitive as windblown seeds can be damaged and the first emerging plants can be killed by accidental trampling.
- Disturbance to sensitive erodible soils.
The closure of the burnt areas will be continually assessed and reopening will only be considered once all safety and environmental issues have been addressed. For some areas this may take between six to twenty four months.
TMNP management and staff would like to assure the public that their focus is to secure the areas for the public’s safety and to as quickly as possible rehabilitate the affected sites for future use. Please assist us by being patient and please remain out of all burnt areas while Mother Nature heals herself.” – end of release