Fire Update

22nd June

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.

21st June

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.  

20th June

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.

Press Release
Laura-Leigh Randall
Kouga Municipality
Media Liaison Officer
084 2055 388

Firefighters on alert

Kouga fire-fighters on high alert

Fire-fighters on alertKouga fire-fighters are on high alert, with strong winds having been predicted for tomorrow.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said two helicopters from the SA National Defence Force arrived this afternoon to water-bomb areas that could flare up.

“A 100 fire-fighters are also on the ground, busy with mop-up operations between Loerie and Thornhill.

“We would like to ask the public not to panic should there be flare-ups in the wind tomorrow. The situation is being monitored and managed carefully,” she said.

“If it becomes necessary to issue an evacuation alert, this will be done officially by the municipality. We ask people not to spread false rumours.  The municipality will publish relevant information on its Facebook page.”

She said the fire at Longmore was under control at the moment but still smouldering. Tree stumps are also still smouldering in the area between the N2 and R102 where fire crews extinguished fires yesterday.

“We would once again like to appeal to motorists to reduce their speed when travelling past the Van Stadens and Thornhill areas. There are a lot of animals, both livestock and wildlife, wandering into the roads because of the fences having burnt down,” she said.

The Mayor said Sanral had already started replacing damaged road signs and fencing but that the damage was extensive.

She appealed to the public to report any fire-related incidents, including trees and obstructions that have fallen in the road, to Kouga’s all-hour emergency number at 042-291 0250.

Press release from Laura-Leigh Randall
Kouga Municipality Media Liaison Oficer
084 2055 388


Thank you

A big THANK YOU to St Francis residents

St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group Logo

As always the greater St Francis community responded to the call for help and Liezl Clause manning the recently opened St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group Command Centre at the Fire Station reported “response from the community was as usual great”.

Donation Drop Off Information:

Here are some extra drop-off points for donations. Tin food would be especially welcome to help in the days ahead.

* ST FRANCIS: The St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group Command Centre at the St Francis Bay Fire Station in St Francis Drive.

* PORT ELIZABETH: The office of Ruby Steenkamp Brokers at Metropolitan Office Park, 281 Cape Road, Newton Park

These are in addition to:

* JEFFREYS BAY: Kouga Municipality, 33 Da Gama Road

* HUMANSDORP: Kouga Fire Department on the entry road from the N2 to Humansdorp

Financial Donations can be made to SF DVG to the following account:

Standard Bank
Branch: Humansdorp – 051001
Account #: 186512139

SFDVG ladies manning control centre

SFDVG ladies manning control centre to receive donations