KNYSNA FIRE AS OF SUNDAY 11/6 AFTERNOON
(Issued by Knysna Municipality)
The fires that have been holding Greater Knysna hostage for the past six days are currently contained.
Reinard Gildenhuys, Acting Incident Commander for Knysna said that the team feels confident that “today is the day,” that the Knysna fires will be brought under control and finally doused. He added that the backburn conducted to the East of Sedgefield during the night went according to plan and to the North towards the South of the N2 should have sorted out many of the dangers.
Knysna Executive Mayor, Eleanore Bouw-Spies said that Greater Knysna is extremely grateful to have a total of 1 106 firefighters and logistic personnel assisting with this operation. “We can’t express our gratitude enough towards these men and women who put their lives at risk, keeping others safe.” This team remains on the ground, monitoring the entire area, attending to occasional flare-ups.
The fires destroyed a further six structures on Saturday, however, Gildenhuys said that the team is not anticipating any further major flare-ups as the winds are dying down and remain mostly in a Westerly direction. Sadly there is only a 20 percent chance of rain predicted for tomorrow. Bearing this in mind, the Municipality asks all residents to remain vigilant.
The following areas have been declared safe by the Incident Commander:
Upper Old Place
The Epilepsy Centre
Provincial Hospital Hostel
Hospital Hill (Nissan)
Jood se Kamp
The following areas are NOT yet safe to return to and residents and onlookers must not return to these under any circumstances:
WATER & ELECTRICITY STATUS
There has been extensive damage to the power supply and water infrastructure during the fires. This has created extra pressure on an already strained system.
There are areas where residents remain without water and/or electricity. The Knysna Municipality and Eskom are working feverously to get these services restored as soon as possible. The Municipality thanks residents for their continued understanding and asks residents to be mindful that the technical team are doing everything in their power to get to the numerous outages.
Currently, the status of the water supply is listed below. As the infrastructure is still under pressure and further issues are being identified, the status of water supply is subject to change with unforeseeable outages possible in future.
Knysna CBD water supply has now been stabilised
Belvidere and Brenton-on-Lake are beginning to stabilise
Brenton-on-Sea is without water and extensive damage to the infrastructure means that it will be a while before water is restored.
Simola is without water
Edameni has been restored
White location has been restored
Sparrebosch has been restored
Currently, the Knysna Municipality cannot confirm when the power to affected areas will be restored. As with the water supply, infrastructure is under pressure and additional outages should be anticipated.
The following areas are currently without power.
Knysna Hollow (area completely burned down)
A section of White Location
Unfortunately, harmful rumours and false stories have been propagated and are creating panic amongst already traumatised residents. The Municipality’s Communication Department is spending valuable time trying to quell sensationalist stories in the media and on social media. For accurate updates, follow the Knysna Municipality communications channels:
It is recommended that people question the source of the information that they are receiving and use their discretion when it comes to accepting everything they read as truth.