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Media Release: Fire in Soetkraal controlled

Date: 3rd September 2013

A fire that threatened to wipe out one of the most scenic spots in Tsitsikamma, the Soetkraal, was successfully controlled. The fire started on Friday evening, the 30th of August 2013.

Area Manager for the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park, Lesley-Anne Meyer, says the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. Upon receiving news of the fire, the team in Tsitsikamma went on high alert to put out the fire. A helicopter was included for aerial fire fighting because the site is in a mountainous area between Plettenberg Bay and Misgund in the Langkloof. 

The team has confirmed positive progress:

  • On Sunday a team was sent to contain the fire on the southern flank.  The fire had spread to the South from the Eastern side of the entrance Road where it began. SANParks and Cape Pine officials confirmed the area was safe and no smoke or flames were spotted.
  • 30 people were deployed yesterday (3 September 2013) to the deep parts of the forests, close to the location of the fire to clean up the debris.
  • The 52 kilometre trail along the Soetkraal was secured, as well as the Old Farmhouse used to accommodate trail hikers.

Soetkraal was identified for its historical and rich biodiversity as adding significant value to SANParks natural assets. It forms part of the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park. The Tsitsikamma Working for Water Programme who spotted the fire while clearing invasive plants from the area, had identified Soetkraal’s 8000 hectares of land for the removal of invasive alien plants such as Wattle, Hakea, Gum and Pine. The extent of the damage of the fire will be communicated upon completion of the investigation.

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Garden Route National Park Communications
Tel: 044 302 5633

Enquiries:  
Nandi Mgwadlamba
Regional Communications Manager 
Tel: 044 302 5633; Cell: 078 702 9663 
Email: nandi.mgwadlamba@sanparks.org 

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