OVERVIEW: Southern Cape fires bring tears, fear, loss, despondency but also hope

2018-11-03 19:20
The community of Farleigh stands empty after a fire claimed the lives of eight people. (Christina Pitt, News24)

The community of Farleigh stands empty after a fire claimed the lives of eight people. (Christina Pitt, News24)

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Here is a wrap of News24's coverage from a week in which widespread blazes in the Southern Cape took a fiery toll on firefighters and uprooted communities.

Reporters Christina Pitt and Zukile Daniels were on the scene to experience first-hand the devastation of the fires that left at least eight people dead.


No end in sight for fires raging along Garden Route

Residents from different areas across the Garden Route have been evacuated as a precaution as fires continue to rage, officials said on Saturday afternoon.

'I was five minutes too late to help my family' - grieving father recalls Southern Cape blaze

Nataniel Oelf will probably remember the morning of October 29 for the rest of his life.

It was when he lost three of his daughters and three nieces, aged between one and 12 years, in the horrific fire of Farleigh in the Southern Cape.

'We sing to keep our spirits up' – Firefighters continue to battle Southern Cape blaze

Although many of them have lost everything, the brave women and men from Working on Fire continue to battle the flames that have engulfed the Southern Cape.

Working on Fire spokesperson Lauren Howard said that at least 16 firefighters had been personally affected by the fire.

"They lost everything," she said.


'We don't know what happened' – relative of Southern Cape fire victims recalls chaotic evacuation

The farming community Farleigh in the Southern Cape is a ghost town following a fire that claimed eight lives on Tuesday.

When News24 arrived, only the carcasses of burnt-out cars and rubble remained of the once vibrant community.

Residents were quickly evacuated and accommodated in Sedgefield Town Hall on Monday evening when a raging fire spread from a nearby mountain to the residences.

Fire claims 1847 toll house at Montagu Pass, but this is not the end of the road

Two world wars, a hungry forest fire and the sneaky hands of vandals and thieves - this is what the old Toll House on the Montagu Pass has survived in its 171 years of existence.

George fires – how a community came together

"When we started thinking of what to pack and what to leave when the evacuation order came, it felt unreal," says Francois Mulder, a reverend in the Blanco congregation in George in the Western Cape.

'I could feel the fire coming closer and closer', says George resident as firefighters aim to battle blaze throughout the night

"I have never been so scared in my life," said a George resident about a raging blaze that claimed the lives of eight people in Bosdorp.

"I could feel the fire coming closer and closer," said Elsabé Basson.

De Vlugt fire reignites, but Southern Cape fires contained

Even though several firefighting crews worked through the night to contain a blaze in De Vlugt in the Southern Cape, the fire became active again on Thursday.

PICS: Firefighting efforts continue in De Vlugt area

Firefighting crews continue to extinguish flare-ups throughout the Southern Cape, following a blaze that has ravaged the George and Knysna areas.

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