Black Hawk chopper to assist George as fire destroys over 90 000 hectares

Firefighters are still battling the fire that is raging along the garden route where more than 400 Cape residents have been forced to evacuate their homes.

The affected areas include Mossel Bay/HerbertsDale; Jonkersberg, and the Outeniqua area where close to 90 000 hectares has been destroyed. It is estimated to be four times the size of the 2017 Knysna fires which saw 22 000 hectares razed.

Local government spokesman, James Brent Styan says this is a very challenging situation which covers about 400km area.

Read: George fires tentatively contained say officials

It is a massive area and the wind doesn't play along so it is very much challenging. The wind takes the fire in a different direction when you think you have dealt with it. It remains challenging but our guys are doing what they can.

James Brent Styan, Local government spokesman

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is currently in George visiting the areas affected and to speaking to the people there.

She says they are bringing in the Black Hawk helicopter which is capable of carrying 3 000 litres of water.

There's been huge cooperation from the South African Air Force to help fight these fighters, says Zille.

This week I am on the ground to see what is happening. I think we are through the worst and I think our magnificent team has managed to contain the fire, the big problem is the fire raging towards the east.

Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape

We are doing a lot of precautionary evacuation at the moment because we have a lot of small communities living in rural areas often surrounded by very dense bush...

Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape

To hear the rest of the conversations on the George fires, listen below:


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