Status of fires on the morning of October 30

GARDEN Route District Municipality release the stats below around 10am on Tuesday morning…
1. Karatara: Fire not contained, majority of resources deployed to this area.
2. Bergplaas: To be mopped up, monitoring of area taking pace.
3. Denneoord: Flare-up at this area and it is being attended to.
4. Garcia Pass: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
5. Ganzekraal: Farm burnt down last night - a 3km fire line is still active and firefighters have been deployed to the area.
6. Waboomskraal: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
7. Herold: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
8. Opsoek (Zoar): Assessment still in progress.
9. Jonkersberg: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
10. Grootvadersbos: Assessment still in progress.
11. Saasveld/Bergplaas: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
12. De Hoop Nature Reserve: Assessment still in progress.
13. Toorwater: Fire contained, mopping-up taking place.
14. Hartebees area: Firefighters attending to this fire

Loss of life
A total of eight fatalities have been confirmed: two adults and six children under the age of 12 years.

Loss of infrastructure
Structures lost thus far include:
· Ou tolhuis · Beervlei (3 x structures) · Garden Route Horse Trails (4 x structures) · Farleigh bosdorp (12 houses) · Geelhoutvlei Timbers Sawmill · Various plantations.

Predominantly westerly wind today - strong on the northern side, which is expected to continue throughout today and tomorrow (October 31). Prediction for today and tomorrow is 6ml rain. The rain has not had a major impact on the wildfires.
Winds are not in favour of making back burns due to its unpredictability and the risk of spotting; the wind has however moved smoke away from George.

Some of the resources deployed to the Garden Route, especially George and Knysna Municipal areas, have also been deployed to Swellendam, Heidelberg, Swartberg, Ladismith/Calitzdorp areas.
Nearly 600 resources deployed across Garden Route District.
• Garden Route District Municipality Fire Services: 20
• WoF: More than 280 people (the Free State and the entire Western Cape)
• CapeNature: 60
• Mossel Bay LM: 6
• Bitou LM: 2
• NCC: 36
• Oudtshoorn LM: 2
• George Fire Department: 15
• PDMC: 1
• Knysna LM: 5
• SANParks: 25
• SCFPA: 4
• MTO: 80
• ACSA: Tankers from PE as well as Cape Town
• Overberg DM: 5
• West Coast DM: 13
• Go George: 10
• EMS: Incident command bus and 5 staff;
• ER 24
• 1 SANDF Oryx Helicopter
• Two Aerial Tractors (Fixed wing aircraft)
• Two Huey Helicopters from WoF
• 1 Private Helicopter

The Department of Social Services has been rendering trauma counselling to the bereaved as well as those traumatised by the fires. Die Department of Education arranged for school children to stay on safe school grounds until conditions at home improved.

Please contact the George Fire Department for more information at the emergency call centre on 044 805 5071.

Facts and figures
• 900-1000 litres of water carried by each WoF Chopper and private choppers
• Aerial Tractor Bombers carry around 3,000 litres of water
• SANDF Oryx carries around 3,500 litres of water

In a statement issued jointly by George Municipality earlier today (Tuesday October 30 at 8:30am), it was revealed that Outeniqua Pass had reopened.
“Montagu Pass remains closed until further notice. Robinson Pass has reopened following a felled tree near Ruitersbos. Outeniqua Pass currently has teams clearing debris from the fire and winds of last night,” according to the statement.
Motorists were warned to proceed with caution and be aware of possibility of falling rocks and trees