OFFICIAL FIRE UPDATE

KNYSNA FIRE AS OF SUNDAY  11/6 AFTERNOON

(Issued by Knysna Municipality)

FIRE STATUS

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:

TOWN SECTOR:

Upper Old Place
Green Pastures
The Epilepsy Centre
Provincial Hospital Hostel
Hospital Hill (Nissan)

KARATARA SECTOR

Leeuwenbosch
Rheenendal

BELVIDERE SECTOR

Belvidere
Belvidere Heights

CONCORDIA SECTOR

Jood se Kamp
Greenfields
White Location
Rhobololo

PEZULA SECTOR

Fisherhaven
Pezula (Hotel)
The Heads
Hunter’s Home
Life Hospital

The following areas are NOT yet safe to return to and residents and onlookers must not return to these under any circumstances:

TOWN SECTOR

Narnia
Paradise
Blaricum Heights
Phantom Village
Templeman Road
Eastford
Upper Town
Knysna Heights
Welbedacht

KARATARA SECTOR

Fairview
Gansvlei

BELVIDERE SECTOR

Brenton-on-Sea
Buffalo Bay

PEZULA SECTOR

Fernwood.

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.

WATER

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

ELECTRICITY

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.

Kanonkop
Lauren Hill
Knysna Hollow (area completely burned down)
Welbedacht Estate
Eastford Ridge
Eastford Downs
Green Pastures
A section of White Location
Kruisfontein.

FAKE NEWS

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:

Website: knysna.gov.za
Knysna Municipality Facebook Page
@KnysnaMuni on Twitter
Downloading the Municipality app knysna.comunity.me (note only one ‘n’)

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.