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Oudtshoorn lends support to Knysna fire disaster

Oudtshoorn, 8 June 2017 – Oudtshoorn Municipality has on Wednesday night (7 June 2017) teamed up with the Infantry School of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to help extinguish Knysna fires.

Two teams of fire fighters from Oudtshoorn Municipality and the Infantry School have been dispatched to Knysna last night. The first fire fighting team from the Municipality left Oudtshoorn at approximately 20:30 last night, while the second team from the Infantry school left at about mid-night.

The Municipal disaster management has now devised a roster to send relief teams that will make turns in the aid given to Knysna to maintain consistency.

The Infantry School is according to the municipal head of the disaster management, Murray-Wayne Konnie, deploying its medical team of 10 people including a doctor to Knysna.

Knysna Fire humanitarian support:

Meanwhile, Mayor Sylvester is appealing to the public of the greater Oudtshoorn to also contribute to the humanitarian work that is currently steered towards Knysna. “We would be glad if our citizens can also extend their hand and donate food and any other needs by Knysna – our neighbours are in desperate need of our support – our fire station at Church Street has been identified as a drop-ff centre.”

MEC for the Western Cape Department for Local Government, Anton Bredell has earlier today announced in a media statement issued by his spokesperson James-Brent Styan that the Western Cape Disaster Management will release the details of humanitarian aid required, in order that the public may assist.

“A wide range of humanitarian agencies already met during last night and are collaborating to meet the need. Since the fire broke out in the Eden District, the fire-fighting response has been under the command of Eden District Municipality. Western Cape Government Disaster Management has rallied a wide array of resources to assist.”

The statement furthermore warns that the fire continues to burn on two broad fronts – fought by all available resources. “Reports of some evacuees heading back to evacuated areas in Knysna are a matter of concern.

This is not recommended and placing additional strain on the emergency responders on the ground. Citizens will be informed when it is safe to return to areas that have been evacuated.”

Mayor Sylvester has additionally warned that motorist not to unnecessarily drive to or through Knysna, so as to minimise impact on emergency services delivery.