News / South Africa

Ilse Schoonraad
1 minute read
31 Oct 2018
9:28 am

George fires destroy over 65,000 hectares

Ilse Schoonraad

All roads, as well as the N2 in Tsitsikamma, are open. Motorists are cautioned to be careful due to bad visibility.

Image: Twitter/@NickeyleRoux

Local government spokesperson James-Brent Styan is cautiously optimistic that the worst of the fires in the Garden Route has been contained, but warns they can flare up anywhere at any time, he told George Herald.

The fires from George and Karatara have now combined into one fire over an extremely large area of approximately 65,000 hectares.

The major point of concern is the De Vlugt area near Uniondale, about 60km inland from Knysna. The fire spread into two heads in a northern and southeastern line. The fire is through the Keurbooms river, but at this stage, no houses have been reported to be in danger.

ALSO READ: Smoke plagues George as fires move towards Knysna

The northern head of the fire is still on the mountain burning slowly. The situation is being monitored. 2,000 people in total have been evacuated over the last few days, 600 from Rheenendal. Most have since returned home.

All roads, as well as the N2 in Tsitsikamma, are open. Motorists are cautioned to be careful due to bad visibility.

Styan says they will use satellite technology and spotter planes today to see where major priorities are and to plot the way forward.

Styan thanked the firefighting teams: “They are heroes who saved George from destruction.”

Updates to follow soon.

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