Garden Route fires

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness

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Storms River Rest Camp unaffected by the Tsitsikamma fire

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Storms River Rest Camp unaffected by the Tsitsikamma fire

24 October 2018

Smoke seen on the N2 between Tsitsikamma and Port Elizabeth is coming from a nearby plantation on MTO’s (Mountain to Ocean) property. SANParks rangers are among teams on the fire flank assisting MTO to contain the fire. The smoke however this morning was blowing in the direction of Day 2 of the Otter trail hike but news from our team is that there is definitely ground fire between Ngubu and Scott Hut (Day 2) of the Otter hiking trail.

Resources are split between helping our neighbours (MTO) to contain the fire in the plantation and on evacuating hikers through escape routes on the Otter trail.

The smoke from the plantation is confirmed to stretch as far out as Clarkson. The Storms River Rest Camp remains unaffected and is accessible and open to visitors.

‘Eight (8) hikers over the age of 18 years are being evacuated by a Head Ranger (Eugenia Mkhatshwa) and team from the Otter trail. It is still too early to determine the extent of the damage but once the fires are completely extinguished, we will be in a position to evaluate the extent of the damage and how soon the trail can be open’ according to Area Manager for Tsitsikamma, Bulelwa Msengi.

Boilerplate: SANParks has conveyed condolences to the family of pilot, Nico Heyns who died in the line of duty. ‘He is a hero who lost his life in the line of duty. He leaves a void in the fire-fighting fraternity. May his soul rest in peace and our thoughts are with his family’ says Paddy Gordon, Park Manager of the Garden Route National Park.

Media: Nandi Mgwadlamba, 078 702 9663, [email protected]

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Popular suspension bridge accessible from the Storms River Rest Camp

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Garden Route fires

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Karatara and Tsitsikamma fires contained

29 October 2018

Fire is up on the mountains far away from human lives and property but due to the heavy smoke, helicopters are not able to fly and no water bombing can be done at this stage.

"Backburns and fire breaks will be done during the course of the day. Residents will experience heavy smoke and ashes but there is no immediate danger at this stage" according to the Knysna Municipality.

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued a warning of veld fire conditions and extreme heat from the 28-29th October 2018 over the West Coast, Cape WInelands, Central and Little Karoo as well as the Garden Route District. Damaging winds (65-75km/h are expected as from today (29th October 2018- 30th October 2018).

Teams from SANParks, Knysna Municipality, Working on Fire are monitoring an active fire near Karatara up on the mountains with available resources

The fire in Tsitsikamma is also contained with Day 2 of the Otter trail reopened. Last week Day 2 of the 5-day hiking trail was closed due to fire. 8 hikers were safely evacuated and slept in the Storms River Rest Camp. They continued Day 3- 5 of the Otter trail hike. Park management reopened Day 2 of the trail on Sunday.

Mountain to Ocean (MTO) is leading the Lottering fire JOC and mop up has begun with SANParks, Cacadu District Municipal resources, MTO and other partners.

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Otter Trail from Ngubu to Scott hut

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Fire away from property in Karatara

Media can contact Nandi Mgwadlamba, 078 702 9663, [email protected]

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Re: Karatara and Tsitsikamma fires contained

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Thank you for the update Matthys :gflower:

May the fires be brought under control soon.
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Re: Karatara and Tsitsikamma fires contained

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You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West
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Re: Karatara and Tsitsikamma fires contained

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:(
Thanks for posting, LQ :gflower:
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Re: Karatara and Tsitsikamma fires contained

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Re: Garden Route fires

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Re: Garden Route fires

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Thanks for the update, LQ :gflower:
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Re: Garden Route fires

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Acting Environment minister visits Garden Route fires and victims

The rain that fell in the Garden Route area last night brought much needed relief and will indeed assist firefighters who are in the fire-line.

This follows confirmation from South African National Parks (SANParks) of the passing of eight people who are relatives of retired SANParks staff. They died during the wildfires that occurred yesterday, 29 October 2018 in the indigenous forest at Farleigh in the Wilderness. The victims were residents of SANParks staff housing located in the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park.

A total of 18 staff houses were destroyed in the fire, 13 in the staff settlement called Rooikraal and the remaining five in Beervlei. A total of 75 people were displaced as a result of these fires and are currently being accommodated in the Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park.

Approximately 5,000 hectares of fynbos within the national park was destroyed by the fire and SANParks continues to assess the damage as part of the Joint Operating Committee (JOC).

Minister Hanekom visited the Region to meet the victims and assessed the fire damage, further pledging his continued support to the ongoing fire-fighting operation.

The following areas of the Garden Route National Park affected by the fire include the following:

• The Outeniqua hiking trail is closed.

• The Otter trail is assessed daily to decide on the impact of smoke inhalation on hikers.

• Evacuations were conducted in the Storms River Village, located close to the Tsitsikamma section of the Park. Members of the community were evacuated to the SANParks Sportsfield in the Storms River Village.

• Visitors in the Storms River Rest Camp in the Tsitsikamma were completely safe from the wild fires, but no visitors were allowed to enter or leave the park as all access roads were affected by the fires.

• Areas close to Goudveld, such as the Bibby’s hoek community were also evacuated by the Joint Operating Committee (JOC).

Should members of the public wish to donate to the victims, we welcome non-perishables, clothes, blankets, pillows and shoes. Goods can be delivered at Ebb & Flow Rest Camp reception, Wilderness or the Knysna office on Thesen Island.

Media contact:
Janine Raftopoulos
Head of Communications: SANParks
Tel: 071 444 3121
Email: [email protected]

Nandi Mgwadlamba
078 702 9663
Email: [email protected]
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Re: Garden Route fires

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Media Release: South African National Parks grieves loss of eight people in Garden Route fires

31 October 2018

Members of the Board, Executive and staff of South African National Parks are deeply saddened at the passing of eight family members of retired SANParks staff who perished in the wildfires at Farleigh in the Wilderness.

“We extend our condolences to the family who have tragically lost loved ones in the fire and we will continue to support them in this trying time,” says Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Lize McCourt. Thirteen staff houses were burnt down in a staff settlement called Rooikraal and five staff houses in another settlement at Beervlei. In total, 75 people have been rendered homeless as a result of these fires and all are being accommodated by SANParks.

‘’We extend our gratitude to Acting Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mr Derek Hanekom who visited the Farleigh Forest site and met with victims of the fire,” says McCourt.

McCourt has commended members of staff who have been fighting the fire for their hard work as well as Honorary Rangers, and the various agencies that formed the Joint Operating Committees (JOC). She further extended her heartfelt gratitude to members of the public who have generously given donations to assist the families who have lost love ones and are going to have to rebuild their lives.

Should members of the public wish to donate to the victims, we welcome non-perishables, clothes, blankets, pillows, shoes. Goods can be delivered at Ebb & Flow Rest Camp reception, Wilderness or the Knysna office on Thesen Island.

Media contact:
Janine Raftopoulos
Head of Communications: SANParks
Tel: 071 444 3121
Email: [email protected]

Nandi Mgwadlamba
Tel: 078 702 9663
Email: [email protected]
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Re: Garden Route fires

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So tragic.
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Re: Garden Route fires

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Re: Garden Route fires

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Re: Garden Route fires

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Re: Garden Route fires

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Thanks for posting the updates, LQ :gflower:
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