Ricochet News

LATEST UPDATE on Garden Route wildfires

Dec 9, 2016
LATEST UPDATE on Garden Route wildfires

Since Tuesday, 18 wildfires raged throughout the district, from Heidelberg to Plettenberg Bay, fanned on by the wind and dry weather conditions.

"Eden District Municipality, B-municipalities, Working On Fire (WoF), South African National Parks (SANParks), MTO (Mountain to Ocean) Forestry and the Southern Cape Fire Protection Association,  have been actively fighting fires in the region with the help of community members," said Herman Pieters, Senior Communication Officer at the Eden District Municipality.

"To date, dry weather conditions have played a major role in spread of wildfires, other causes, including arson, could also have played a role, but will be investigated.

"Nearly 100 instances of small fires started due to alleged arson have been reported since the beginning of December 2016." 

Details of three major fires currently raging in the Eden district are:

  1. WABOOMSKRAAL (GEORGE MUNICIPAL AREA)
    Fynbos,  natural vegetation and wildlife affected.
    Current support:
  • 3 Vehicles from Eden DM Fire, Rescue and Fleet Services with 4 firefighters
  • 2 WoF Teams (1 team protecting the MTO, the other monitoring the Northern fire line)
  • 1 Vehicle from George Fire Department (2 firefighters)
  1. HAARLEM (GEORGE MUNICIPAL AREA)

Unreachable mountainous fire

Current support:

  • Firefighters are protecting a house as a precautionary measure for if the wind changes direction
  • More firefighters will be deployed if fire escalates.
  1. CRAGS (KNYSNA MUNICIPAL AREA)
    Risk of smoke inhalation, thick cloud of smoke prohibiting aircrafts to fly in the area, except for an Orix Bomber Plane that is geared for such extreme conditions.
    Current support:
  • 200 firefighters;
  • 10 vehicles;
  • Orix Bomber Plane currently actively fighting the fires;
  • 2 Scout Planes (not flying); and
  • 2 WoF helicopters (not flying at the moment).

Four fires are currently not a major risk to areas and are under control, these include:

  1. Hansmoeskraal, Pacaltsdorp in George
  2. Alwyndal, Mossel Bay
  3. Gondwana Game Reserve, near PetroSA
  4. Cooper Siding, Riversdale

"If community members suspect foul play, please contact your local municipality or report it to 044 805 5071. Remember, that now till Easter is a No-Burn Season, meaning that if a person leaves a fire unattended for a length of time or sets alight any part of their farm without approval by a local authority, they will be prosecuted," described Pieters.

Status of fires 

Status Quo on fires 09/12/2016 at 12:00

Fires reported 6/12/2016

No

Area /

Fire Name

Ground Support

Air Support

Comments

1

George Hansmoeskraal

Eden Fire

 1 crew, 1 vehicles

George Fire

2 crew,1 vehicle

(Roaming Pacaltsdorp area)

None

Fire is contained, being monitored

2

RiversdaleSkuinskraal

None

 

None

Fire has been declared dead

3

Mossel Bay Hartebeeskuildam

None

 

None

Fire has been declared dead

4

Plettenberg Bay The Crags

Plett Fire

7  crew, 3 vehicles

MTO, Sanparks & WOF

173 crew , 6 vehicles

 

SANDF - Oryx

Fire is still very active, Due to weather conditions the Head and impact of the fire could not be determined yet.

Fire operations is currently concentrated on the Western-  and Southern Flanks

Oryx is bombing on Western Flank

5

Knysna

Concordia

Hornley/Fishhoek

None

 

None

Fire has been declared dead

6

Mossel BayGondwana

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

7

George Waboomskraal

Eden Fire

6 crew,  4 vehicles

George Fire

2 crew,1 vehicle

MTO

12 crew,  2 vehicles

WOF

20 crew

None

Fire is still very active, burning towards the MTO Seed Orchard

Fire operations is currently concentrated on the Northern Flank at the N9 and the Eastern Flank near the Seed orchard

8

Thembalethu

Silvertown

George

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

9

George

R102 near Refuse Site

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

10

George

N2 Between Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp at Andersonville

 

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

11

Mossel Bay

Cooper siding

 

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

12

George

Haarlem

George Fire

2 personal,  1 vehicle

None

Fire is high in the mountains at the Haarlem dam, 1 house in danger 800m from fire

Additional resources will be sent as soon as available

13

George

Blue Whale Lodge

Pacaltsdorp

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

14

Heidelberg

N2

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

15

Mossel BayAlwyndal

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

16

George

New Dawn Park

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

17

Syferfontein

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

18

Kleinberg

None

None

This fire never existed same fire as Cooper Siding

19

Kammanassie

None

None

Fire has been declared dead

 

Rain started to fall on the Southern side of the Outeniqua Mountains helping to seal most of the fires.