Fire update in Eastern Cape – News Briefs from Kouga Municipality – Edited by Bev Mortimer)
Two hot spots were still burning in the Kouga region, last night, according to news briefs from Kouga Municipality.
These were in the vicinity of Loerie and Crossways but there was no immediate danger to property. The Kouga Municipality is grateful to the local farming community that has also been helping with mop-up operations in these areas.
About 50% (roughly 10 500ha) of the Longmore Plantation has burnt down. A total of 110 fire-fighters were still fighting fires in the plantation. Longmore MTo last night.
Road Safety and Animals:
Motorists are cautioned to reduce their speeds when travelling along the N2 and R102 in the vicinity of Van Stadens and Thornhill.
Visibility has been poor, especially along the R102 in the vicinity of Thornhill.
Many animals, both livestock and wildlife, have also been wandering onto the roads because fencing either burnt out or had to be cut so that the animals could escape from the fire.
Sanrail has been asked to put up temporary road signs to warn motorists.
As announced yesterday evening, (https://stfrancischronicle.com/2017/06/11/kouga-a-local-disaster-through-fire-devastation/) , the Kouga Council yesterday afternoon declared a Local State of Disaster. Theis was prompted by widespread destruction caused by fires that have been burning in the region since 7 June.
The declaration, made at a special meeting at Jeffreys Bay, will be promulgated in the Provincial Gazette. This will allow the municipality to apply for additional funding from provincial and national government so as to address the impact of the fires on the local infrastructure and communities.
Electricity: Thornhill and Longmore
Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was able to restore the electricity supply to Thornhill yesterday and undertook to have the power restored to Longmore by this afternoon, 12 June. The Metro supplies electricity to Thornhill and Longmore even though these areas are located within Kouga Municipality’s boundaries.
Trauma counselling is being offered to residents affected by the fire through the Department of Social Development and Jeffreys Bay Trauma centre.
Communication and Support
The municipality thanks MTN and Vodacom for helping to boost the signal in the Thornhill area for improved communication.
The municipality is grateful to everyone for the donations and support that has been streaming in since the crisis started on Wednesday last week.
The municipality currently has sufficient supplies for affected communities. There are also enough prepacked meals for fire-fighters at present.
The municipality will send out an alert should there be any further requirements.