Fire and the Emergency services personnel are still furiously fighting raging fires in the Garden Route region of the country, but the immediate risk to the town of George itself has been contained.

Fire and the Emergency services personnel are still furiously fighting raging fires in the Garden Route region of the country, but the immediate risk to the town of George itself has been contained.


Peter Grindlay, Managing Executive of Oakhurst Insurance (local Insurance Co based in George), has been on the ground with firefighting personnel and very involved in community initiatives to support the Fire Fighting and Disaster management efforts.

He met with Gerhard Otto Head of Disaster Management at the Garden Route Municipality and various other emergency services teams last night. According to Peter Grindlay, he confirmed that:

  • A Disaster Management Centre was set up in the heart of George where the George Fire Department, surrounding Fire Departments and Working on Fire have combined efforts.
  • Learnings from the Knysna fires have really helped the Eden District Fire Departments to keep the town of George safe with co-ordinated efforts from a multitude of other Emergency Services operations.
  • There are currently 579 people working to keep the George fires contained which have already spread as far as Rheenendal, Karatara and De Vlugt.
  • Fire and Emergency Services teams have had to contend with temperatures in the high 30s and strong, changing winds which have made the fires even more difficult to contain. Fortunately, the recent winds have pushed the fires away from the numerous towns located in the region, and we have been blessed with some light rain.
  • There has been no indication of when the fire will be fully doused but mop up operations are already afoot. There was been no loss of life in the immediate George area, but sadly, eight people have died in the Farleigh/Bosdal area, just outside of George.
  • The local community has also played a major role in indirectly keeping the fires at bay by providing our fire and emergency services teams with continued support. From individuals to business owners the donations of food, drink and accommodation along with words of praise have been overwhelming.

Gerhard Otto from Disaster Management at the Garden Route Municipality also mentioned that fake news has been a problem and urged the community to check the Disaster Management centre’s website or contact them on 044 805 5071 for accurate intel.

In a personal interview with Melvin Naik, Mayor of George this morning, he re-iterated his praise of the co-ordinated efforts of the Fire and Emergency Services so competently managing the situation, and also the phenomenal support of the George Community who once again are standing so tightly together.

Sources: Fire and the Emergency services
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