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South Africa | Wildfire in Table Mountain NP escapes, destroys irreplaceable archives in Cape Town

JOHANNESBURG — Firefighters in Cape Town battled a wildfire on Monday that had engulfed the slopes of the city’s famed Table Mountain and destroyed parts of the University of Cape Town’s library, a devastating blow to the world’s archives of Southern African history.

Helicopters dumped water on the area to try to contain the blaze, which began on Sunday and was likely caused by an abandoned fire, according to South African national parks officials. But as wind picked up overnight, the fire spread to neighborhoods in the foothills of the mountain and forced some homes to be evacuated on Monday. Monday evening, officials warned that the blaze would likely rage for days.

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