A devastating inferno has wreaked untoward havoc in Garden Route District Municipality of Western Cape. The horrific wild blaze have burnt over 86 000 hectares of land.
Following the catastrophe, the Garden Route District Municipality has noted that the damage, in terms of area affected by the recent blaze, has left a scar four times the size of the destructive 2017 Garden Route fires, which burnt an area of 22 000 hectares.
Also Logging communities have been evacuated and structures have been destroyed.
Unfortunately, the fires have multiplied and spread, displacing hundreds of Garden Route residents, forcing road closures, and claiming the lives of nine locals. Sporadic showers and favourable shifts in wind direction have provided menial relief to the embattled area.
The Garden Route fires began in George ten days ago
Ten days ago, a fire engulfed the southern slopes of the Outeniqua Mountain range near George. The mountain pass which connects Oudtshoorn to the coast, was closed and residents of George, particularly those inhabiting the northern areas on the outskirts of town, were forced to evacuate their homes.
Unfortunately, the George blaze, which has been largely brought under control, was just the beginning of what was to become the biggest wildfire disaster to hit the greater Garden Route district.
Blaze becomes deadly in Karatara
Fanned by gale force winds and soaring temperatures, the George blaze spread more than 50 kilometres east, causing widespread destruction to small holdings and the vast pine plantations surrounding the small settlement of Karatara.
It was here that the fire turned deadly, claiming the lives of two adults and six children in the surrounding logging communities of Bosdorp and Farleigh.
Report from the Joint Operations Centre (JOC), which is in charge of monitoring the Garden Route fires, while hotspots still dot the gutted countryside around Karatara, the blaze has subsided and evacuated residents have begun to return home.