Youngsters helped dousing the flames near the informal settlement in Blanco. Photos: Alida de Beer
GEORGE NEWS - The George and Eden Fire Brigades, assisted by Working on Fire (WOF), had to fight fires in various locations in hot berg wind conditions on Thursday 6 July.
Eden Disaster Management Chief Gerhard Otto said an aerial survey on the day revealed that 72 spots, mainly in indigenous forest, were still smouldering after the recent catastrophic fires in the region. Rain at the weekend helped to put out most of these and by the beginning of this week, Otto reported that only 12 places in the Knysna area were still smouldering.
On Thursday, the fire brigades attended to at least three fires in the George area. Helicopters were deployed to bring a fire under control that threatened houses in Touwsranten, Hoekwil, and smouldering areas in the forest at Serpentine Heights were also doused from the air.
In George, residents on the banks of the Malgas River near the Blanco bridge experienced some unnerving moments when a fire started in dry brush among eucalyptus trees. People from the Blanco side used hoses and buckets of water to stop flames from reaching the wooden Rastafarian church building and some informal dwellings nearby. Wind pushed the flames over the river course and up close to the boundary wall of the Homewood development. Two helicopters and workers from Work on Fire were deployed to extinguish the fire.
The George Fire Brigade on Thursday also attended to a fire at AMZ Celltronics and Repairs, a shop at St George's Square, in which a man sustained severe burn injuries.
The flames came close to the boundary wall of the Homewood development.