#KnysnaFire Buffalo Bay and parts of Plettenberg Bay evacuated

2017-06-10 11:39
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)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Knysna - Green Valley in Plettenberg Bay and Buffalo Bay next to Brenton-on-Sea was evacuated on Saturday morning as windy conditions complicated firefighting efforts in the area.

The suburbs were temporarily evacuated as a precautionary measure, municipal spokesperson Fran Kristen said.

The George local municipality deployed five Go George busses to assist with evacuations.

Social media reports suggest that Sedgefield has also been evacuated, but Knysna municipality denied evacuations taking place and said fires are being monitored in the area.

On Friday afternoon fires in the Eden district were 85% under control. Several flare-ups have however occurred on Friday evening and Saturday morning which was sustained by windy conditions.

In a statement, SANParks said winds of up to 42km/h were expected at 11:00 on Saturday morning.

READ: Knysna still at severe fire risk - authorities


Western Cape Local government spokesperson James-Brent Styan said an additional South African National Defence Force (SANDF) helicopter has been deployed.

Eleven helicopters have been deployed to the Eden District by Saturday morning with an additional helicopter from Working on Fire on its way to the area.

George municipality said fires caused no structural damage in the municipality.

Seriously ill patients from the Geneva clinic were evacuated to the Mediclinic due to serious smoke inhalation, but fires did not damage the clinic building, municipal spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose told News24.

Local authorities confirmed that 300 buildings have been destroyed by the fires since Wednesday and roughly 4 000 people remain displaced.

Knysna municipality urged residents to use water sparingly as water infrastructure has been stretched to its capacity.

The municipality was declared a drought disaster zone in May.

Kirsten said heat created by recent fires caused many pipes to burst and increased water leaks. She requested residents to reports leaks to the municipality by phoning 044 302 6300.

"Some residents have noticed the brown colour of the water. This is purely aesthetic and is still safe for use," Kristen said.

The municipality is also experiencing sporadic power outages due to kilometres of electricity lines destroyed.

The municipality appealed for donations of mattresses, sleeping bags, bottled water and sanitary products to be used specifically for the elderly people in the area.

Donations can be dropped off at DHL centres across South Africa.

News24 earlier reported that local police has not received any reports of missing people and encouraged residents to report missing people to police as soon as possible. Missing people can be reported to 044 302 6687 or 08600 10111.

Seven people have been arrested for looting following the blaze.

Local historian Phillip Caveney said the last time a fire of this magnitude hit the district was in 1869.

This type of blaze occurs in 150 year cycles, he said.

Read more on:    dhl  |  cape town  |  knysna fires  |  fires

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.