Firefighters have been preparing for the strong winds predicted for tomorrow.
Please find below the fire update from Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen:
Fire-fighters prepare for strong winds tomorrow
Strong winds have been predicted for tomorrow, renewing fears that there could be flare-ups in the Longmore, Thornhill and Van Stadens Gorge areas.
While there have been no further flare-ups overnight or today, there are still areas that are smouldering at Longmore and the Van Stadens Gorge, as well as behind Woodridge in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
Kouga fire-fighters and farmers have been doing preventative mop-ups in preparation of the strong winds. A team has also been sent to Woodridge to help Nelson Mandela Bay with mop-up operations there.
The fire that flared up behind Woodridge yesterday was extinguished with the help of two SANDF helicopters, which also helped to douse smaller flare-ups at the Van Stadens Gorge.
Damage & Warnings
It will cost an estimated R1-million to replace fire-damaged road signs, guard rails and fences along the N2 in the vicinity of Van Stadens. Sanral has been removing the damaged signs and has ordered new ones.
Drivers are asked to continue driving with caution and to be on the look-out for burnt trees which could fall over into the roads.
Eskom has completed repairs to major power lines that were damaged by the fire and estimates that it will take another two weeks to complete repairs to minor lines.
Police continue to patrol the Thornhill area so as to prevent looting. No incidents of looting have been reported.
Donations are still being received and can be dropped off at the Thornhill police station.
Please find below a fire update from Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen – 20 June 2017
About 17 000 ha of veld, plantation and farm land in the Kouga area has been destroyed by the fire that started burning in the Longmore area on 7 June. This is only within Kouga’s area of jurisdiction and does not include damage on Nelson Mandela Bay’s side.
Sanral has been replacing fire-damaged barriers along the N2. They have also been removing damaged road signs along the N2 and new ones have been ordered.
There were some flare-ups in the Van Stadens Gorge overnight but these were extinguished. The two SANDF helicopters were also used to dump water on hot spots in the gorge.
Smaller flare-ups were extinguished in the Loerie/Thornhill areas today.
Fire-fighters and farmers are now busy with 360˚ mop-ups along the perimeters of fire-damaged areas.
Kouga fire-fighters are still assisting Nelson Mandela Bay with the fire at the Yellowwoods area behind Woodridge. About 120 000 litres of water was thrown on this fire by the SANDF helicopters yesterday, which helped to contain the fire.
There have been some flare-ups in Kouga today and over weekend. Herewith a fire update from Mayor Elza van Lingen:
There were flare-ups at Longmore over the weekend but fire-fighters were able to contain and extinguish the fires before any further damage was caused.
There have also been flare-ups at Crossways and Thornhill today, but they have been contained.
There are still 80 fire-fighters on the ground in these areas.
Two SANDF helicopters again water-bombed hot spots over the weekend. Each helicopter dumped about 60 000 litres of water on smouldering areas.
Farmers are also busy assisting with mop-up operations, especially in the Thornhill area.
The major concern at this stage is the fire that has flared up to the eastern side of the Van Stadens gorge behind Woodridge. Kouga has sent fire-fighters to assist Nelson Mandela Bay.
Nelson Mandela has not yet been able to restore the electricity supply to the Longmore village.
Kouga Municipality has, however, brought in a generator which is being used to supply power to houses on a rotational basis.
Kouga Municipality is also carting in water and has put in place 25 portable toilets for use by the village, as the water supply has also been affected by the power outage.
Sightseers have been obstructing fire-fighting operations along the N2 and R102. We ask that people avoid these areas as far as is possible. Drivers are reminded to please reduce speed when driving in these areas.
Police are patrolling affected areas to prevent looting, also of scrap metal.
The Thornhill Police Station is currently being used as the drop-off point for donations.
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