Firefighters still trying to extinguish last of Garden Route blaze

2017-06-20 16:27
A helicopter flies with a water bucket to extinguish nearby fires in the coastal town of Knysna. (Halden Krog, AP)

A helicopter flies with a water bucket to extinguish nearby fires in the coastal town of Knysna. (Halden Krog, AP)

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Cape Town - Firefighters still working on what remains of the devastating Garden Route blaze hope to extinguish the last of the smouldering areas between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay by Tuesday, ahead of stronger south-westerly winds predicted for later this week.

Fire chief Clinton Manuel said a number of vegetation fires were being monitored after being identified in the Uplands and Rheenendal areas during an aerial assessment on Monday.

The fires were limited to vegetation and no property was in danger, he said.

"We don’t want the situation to spread to any of the unburnt [land], which could happen should the wind come up. Its vicinity is being secured and we are dealing with potential runaway areas," Manuel explained.

Smouldering fires are also being dealt with by the 60 firefighters, with the aim of making the towns liveable again, he said.

A gentle westerly breeze was blowing in the Southern Cape, Manuel said. It was expected to continue until Thursday, when stronger south-westerly winds were forecast. 

Large parts of Knysna, Brenton-on-Sea, Buffalo Bay and surrounds, and parts of Plettenberg Bay, went up in flames two weeks ago.

Nearly 10 000 people were evacuated and seven people died in at least 22 fires. Over 1 000 firefighters eventually brought them under control.

Read more on:    knysna  |  knysna fires  |  fires

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