More than 1 000 people have been evacuated from the Karatara area, which is situated between Knysna and George, since a fire that has been burning steadily for nearly two weeks began spreading. Firefighters have been battling the blaze, which began in the Vermaaklikheid area, for the past nine days.
According to Garden Route Fires, an official delegation, including Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, will visit the affected areas on the Garden Route.
For the safety of the public, emergency services personnel working on the fire and protection of infrastructure remains a priority for Knysna Municipality’s Incident Management team.
The area’s firefighters will be focusing on the northern areas currently affected by to the south-westerly winds. These include Eseljacht, Ganzekraal, and Louvain.
The flames of the eastern border of the fire are being exacerbated by gale-force westerly winds, and this has caused concerns that the fire will intensify.
Yesterday’s thick smoke and fog made it difficult to make use of aerial resources, but have been deployed today.
STATUS OF FIRES
1. KARATARA: Fire contained.
2. BERGPLAAS: To be mopped up, monitoring of area taking pace.
3. DENNEOORD: Flare-up at this area and it is being attended to.
4. GARCIA PASS: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
5. GANZEKRAAL: Farm burnt down last night – a 3 km fire line is still active and firefighters have been deployed to the area.
6. WABOOMSKRAAL: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
7. HEROLD: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
8. OPSOEK FIRE (Zoar): Assessment still in progress.
9. JONKERSBERG FIRE: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
10. GROOTVADERSBOS: Assessment still in progress.
11. SAASVELD/BERGPLAAS: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
12. DE HOOP NATURE RESERVE: Assessment still in progress.
13. TOORWATER: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
14. HARTEBEES AREA: Firefighters attending to this fire
Outeniqua & Robinson Pass has reopened whilst the Montagu Pass remains closed until further notice.
Currently teams are clearing debris from the fire and winds of last night. Motorists are warned to proceed with caution and be aware of possibility of falling rocks and trees. pic.twitter.com/hKxubXPkyS
— Working on Fire (@wo_fire) October 30, 2018
LOSS OF INFRASTRUCTURE
– Ou Tolhuis bistro
– three structures in Beervlei
– Garden Route Horse Trails: 4 x structures
– 12 houses in Farleigh
– Geelhoutvlei Timbers Sawmill
– Various plantations