Several fires have been reported raging in the Garden Route area on the N2 between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna.
The N2 is currently closed between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna from both sides until local fire department can bring the blaze under control. It is alleged that the fire started as veld fire near the Kruisfontein plantation (Knysna). So far news reports have confirmed that at least 13 houses have been evacuated and that two more fires are ablaze in the Karatara/Sedgefield area.
According to reports in a Southern Cape newspaper written by journalist Stefan Goosen, many fires have ignited in different locations all along the garden route. A resident of Smutsville in Sedgefield told Goosen ,” trees are falling all over the show. Farmers, emergency services…everyone is getting involved in trying to bring this fire under control”.
Gale force winds that hit the province last night wrecked further havoc to the area, according to James-Brent Styan, spokesperson for the Western Cape Local Government MEC Anton Bredell.
“The good news is that across the province to date, we have had no reports of fatalities or serious injuries, although some evacuations have been made and a handful of injured citizens taken to hospital by Emergency Services. The injuries were caused by roof collapses,” said Styan.
According to Styan, the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre (WCDMC) was activated at the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre at Tygerberg Hospital at 10pm Tuesday evening, in advance of the storm, to maximize the protection of the public’s health and welfare and protect critical infrastructure.
Styan emphasised that the storm has not yet reached its peak and travellers across the province today are advised to do so using extreme caution.
In total the Eden District Muncipality have reported fires near Uniondale, Karatara, Knysna, Kruisrivier (Hessequa), near Mossel Bay, Gwaiing R102, Wildernis and Eklandskraal.
Source: Knysna-Plett Herald