Streaming issues? Report here
John Maytham 2019 1500 BW
Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
15:00 - 18:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield
See full line-up
Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
15:00 - 18:00

#KnysnaFires - Firefighters need resources ahead of tough weekend

9 June 2017 7:55 AM
Tags:
#KnysnaFire
Firefighter resources need to be replenished ahead of what promises to be a long weekend of fighting blazes driven by high winds

800 to 1 000 firefighters have reportedly been deployed to various areas around Knysna, protecting homesteads and forest from further destruction.

According to Louise Wessels, Manager at Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association - who has deployed many of her colleagues to the Knysna area - the firefighters are currently "attacking" and "mopping up". Attacking a fire is the process of extinguishing while mopping up is the process of dousing hot embers left behind. Wessels says mopping up is equally important because one of the biggest concerns right now is for hot embers to be fanned by the (forecast) high winds and they reignite a fire again.

That is why they have so many feet on the ground. That they can go back and ensure it is out.

Louise Wessels, Manager at Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association

But because these crews come from different organisations, they can't be serviced by a single radio system.

As a result, crews are using their cellphones to communicate with each other, co-ordinating their efforts. Now over 48 hours into this fire, airtime and data, their primary means of communication in this situation, is running low. Co-ordinators are asking for help from the public and corporates.

Battery packs or power banks are also needed as the firefighters don't have the means to recharge their phones.

The authorities just don't have the systems to quickly get airtime to the guys on the ground.

Louise Wessels, Manager at Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association

9 June 2017 7:55 AM
Tags:
#KnysnaFire