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Media Release: Joint partnership in fighting the Keurboomsriver fires

27 January 2010

The South African National Parks (SANParks) in its joint operation with the Disaster Unit of the Eden District Municipality, Working on Fire (WoF), MTO Forestry and private landowners has deployed fire fighting personnel to suppress the raging unnatural fire burning north of the Vlietjiesberg.

What started as an isolated fire caused by lightning which struck the area late Thursday afternoon, 17 January 2010 has resulted in an uncontrollable wild fire supported by high winds which burned 300ha of scenicsen fynbos in the area.

The weather conditions and the lack of rainfall, inaccessible fire lines, deep ravines of the mountainous areas, fog and heavy fire smoke posed huge challenges for the helicopters and the fire fighting teams to control the raging fire north of Vleitjieberg.

In the latest assessment of this situation we are confident that the areas affected by this are too far from residential properties and there is no damage to infrastructure and livestock in the neighbouring private properties.

A total of 116 highly trained fire fighting personnel and contract workers have been deployed to the fire front and this will be supported by three WoF helicopters that will assist with aerial bombardment of the fire.

Our fire fighting teams were supplied with the necessary support, access to water from neighbouring farms and refreshments to sustain during the long hours spent fighting the raging fire. The situation continues to be closely monitored and evaluated.

Issued by:

SANParks Corporate Communications

Media Inquiries:

Zanemvula Gozongo, Communications Manager, Garden Route National Park, tel: (044) 302 5633, Cell: 071 513 8221, fax: (044) 382 4539,