The Outeniqua Fire in the George area remains active on the mountain slopes and the situation remains serious with bad conditions prevailing.
Backburns from the horseshoe to the back of the Denneoord Water Works done yesterday, were successful. A number of firebreaks have been put in place by the George Municipality to act as an additional line of defense for urban areas.
The fire also remains active in the mountain area in Karatara but is currently contained by SANparks teams. Backburns and firebreaks will be done in this area today.
Firefighters have been engaging the fires since Monday last week. Ground resources currently exceed 300 persons. Two WoF Huey helicopters and two WoF fixed wing bombers are in place to render aerial support and one SANDF Oryx helicopter is on standby. Aerial support is dependant on weather conditions. At the moment the conditions remain bad with poor visibility due to smog and mist. The mountainous region makes flying under such conditions very dangerous. At present aerial support is accordingly restricted.
Smoke due to smouldering backburns from yesterday and wind direction which has changed to push smoke over the George CBD. Wind direction has been forecast to change from 12h00 onwards.
Residents are urged to please put the following measures in place:
Keep windows and doors closed until further notice as protection against smoke and heat.
Keep pets indoors where possible.
Move garden furniture that is flammable under cover where possible.
Elderly persons and persons with health issues who are able, to voluntarily remove themselves from the areas adjacent to slopes of the mountain.
The Outeniqua Pass remains closed until further notice.
In the event of an emergency phone 112 (all emergencies number).
Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell
Mobile: 084 583 1670
Telephone: 021 483 2820