Updated – 12/06/2017
Firefighting conditions in Eden District remain favourable
· Mother of 3-yr old confirmed dead.
· All the fires in George have been contained
· 1106 firefighters currently in the area
The WCDMC regrets to confirm a seventh fatality in the Eden region as a result of the fires in the region.
The mother of the 3-year old child who was confirmed dead on Wednesday in Welbedacht, died last night in Tygerberg Hospital.
The total number of fatalities for the Eden region, as confirmed by the SAPS is now 7. This number includes one firefighter.
Eden District Municipality
Last night, divisions held the line – holding the flames back – to protect the village of Rheenendal and Wit Lokasie settlement.
Both areas were under threat during yesterday’s gale-force winds.
Brenton-on-Sea was severely affected yesterday, with several more houses damaged.
Aircraft were airborne shortly before 09h00. Conditions remain favourable for continued waterbombing.
The SANDF has 4 Oryx helicopters in action in the area. Working on fire (WOF) has six helicopters.
· 1106 firefighters are currently in the area.
· All fires are contained at the North side of Sedgefield (Barrington, Karatara and Elandskraal as well as in the North side of Knysna (Wit Lokasie, Concordia and Nekkies)
Fire commanders confirmed that no losses had been suffered in Buffalo Bay, and some fires yesterday were deliberate “back-burns” to protect the town from runaway flames.
· There are a few new hotspots in Knysna which are contained. The fire in Brackenhill is contained and MTO are responding.
· An additional six houses were burnt down in Knysna since yesterday, 10 June 2017.
· Knysna Municipality has developed a questionnaire, available on the www.surveymonkey.com website, where affected resident can report their damage incurred and related needs.
· Approximately fifty structures were burnt down, however no formal assessment has been done to confirm this.
· It was reported that fires flared up in Kranshoek and Kranbos but are now under control.
All the fires in George have been contained.
Fortunately, the injuries to five firefighters reported yesterday have been confirmed as minor.
The South African Weather Services issued the following weather predictions for the Southern Coastal areas: Rain (30%) is expected for Sunday, Monday and Thursday and no rain expected for Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The wind will be abating for the next couple of days, however, it is predicated to pick up again on Thursday with winds between 60 – 70 km/h.
Our thoughts are with our Eastern Cape colleagues who are currently also dealing with devastating fires in their area.
Minister, MECs send condolences to Knysna fire victims
The Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu and all Provincial MECs of Human Settlements have extended their condolences to the victims of the Knysna fire and those affected by the severe storm and winds in the Western Cape Province.
The Minister and all the MECS have agreed to extend additional capacity if required to the Western Cape provincial Government and the Provincial Human Settlements for disaster management and management of displaced people.
The meeting held in Pretoria between the Minister and the MECs also agreed that during disaster time, all provinces must come together and share resources and skills to address a disaster.
“The human settlements family must always work together to alleviate pain from our people, we must deploy all our skills and resources as a family to serve our people,” said Minister Sisulu.