Several historic buildings have been destroyed as a wildfire rips through Cape Town despite efforts by firefighters to contain it.

The fire, which initially broke out on Table Mountain which overlooks the South African city, has now spread to the University of Cape Town and burnt down at least two floors of its library.

Orange flames were seen through the windows of the Jagger Library – which houses a number of archives and book collections – while firefighters attempted to put out the blaze with jets of water.

Other campus buildings also caught fire, and a historic windmill nearby was also destroyed.

Students had to be evacuated from the university as a result.

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Local media reported how the fire started on the slopes of the mountain, but wind spread the flames across dry brush in warm temperatures.

It first spread across Table Mountain National Park, and part of the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant caught fire.

More than 100 firefighters and emergency services staff were sent to the university campus and to the national park.

Four helicopters were being used to drop water on the worst affected areas.

Cape Town fire and rescue department said one firefighter was injured and being treated in hospital.

Residents have been warned to be on alert, and told to close windows and damp down their gardens.

Charlotte Powell, spokesperson for the city’s disaster risk management centre, said: ‘At this stage, there’s no cause to evacuate, but we ask that residents adhere to the following: close all windows to prevent draft and reduce heat, damp down your garden using a hose or irrigation system.’

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