A massive fire is raging in the Knysna area involving an estimated 26 runaway fires.
Thousands of local residents are being evacuated.
A number of homes have already been burned.
Evacuated residents say they are walking on foot from Brenton to Buffels Bay.
A family of three from Rheenendal was killed earlier in the fire
Residents on foot walking along the beach to safety.
Knysna fire chief, Clinton Manuel, just confirmed the worst.
The fires in Knysna are out of control and “there is a slim chance of stopping them.”
Knysna residents from every part of town are taking shelter from the storm near the water and at the Knysna Yacht Club.
Manuel said that the fire is spreading “rapidly due to a fast wind and that people are being evacuated to safe areas within town.”
Listen to Knysna fire chief, Clinton Manuel below:
At 19:15 the Eden DMC received a call from the Acting MM of Knysna indicating that he needs to evacuate the entire town and National resources would be needed.
This was communicated to the PDMC, unfortunately National resources cannot be deployed at this point in time, the activation of the SANDF could take a couple of days.
Knysna has a population of about 77 000 people, they were advised to liaise with the George Municipality to obtain Go George busses to assist with evacuation of the town as soon as access to the Town was possible form the West.
For the interim people is being moved by means of taxi’s and any possible transport to the Loerie Park area in the town.
The areas currently being evacuated include the following:
· Green Pastures
· Knysna Heights
The fire has split in two main fronts, one affecting the Knysna Heights and CBD area and the second the Belvedere and Brenton area.
It is believed that in excess of 50 houses has burnt but this still needs to be confirmed.
The Knysna Provincial Hospital is being evacuated, people are stuck and stranded on the Brenton beach. The N2 is closed. #knysnafire— Sarah Cohen (@cohensarah) June 7, 2017