Many local residents will be wondering about the noise of emergency vehicles and helicopters heading in the Wilderness direction earlier today. It seems that only weeks after the fire in the Lakes area destroyed several homes, another was started there – once again in the exceptionally dry reeds at the water’s edge, this time towards Ebb and Flow. The ground crew for George Fire Brigade were quickly on scene and a fire-fighting chopper deployed.
As of lunchtime the George Municipality reported the fire as being under control and by 3pm it was all but done and clean up operations were underway. A case of arson is being investigated by SAPS, who are also looking into where the original point of ignition took place.
According to Nandi Mgwadlamba – Communications Officer for SANParks, that entity also deployed resources to assist the George FireBrigade. She says says today’s fire was better managed due to institutional arrangements strengthened after the first incident two months ago after which fire authorities refreshed MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding agreements).
In these agreements the authorities (George Municipality, Eden District Municipality, the SCFPA and SANParks) undertook to:
- Devise a proactive plan to respond to unforeseen changing weather conditions
- To revisit emergency procedures and the better integration of resources
It is hoped that there will be no more flare-ups, but residents are advised to keep watch and act with precaution.