Garden Route DM JOC Wildfire Update 2018/11/05

Good Evening

5th November 2018, 18:30
Please be advised that the GRDM JOC has become aware of a voice clip doing the rounds in which Gerhard Otto, GRDM Disaster Manager refers to heavy rainfall and snow predicted. This clip dates from the 2017 Knysna Fires and is INCORRECT.

The weather prediction for tomorrow- 6th November is slight rainfall, cooler temperatures with a predicted high of 14 degrees.

Issued by GRDM JOC

Message from Eskom: The power system is constrained.

Please switch off all non-essential equipment and use electricity sparingly – especially from 17:00 to 21:00 (5 Nov 2018)

All roads in fire affected area currently open, except R339 between Knysna and Uniondale.

FIRE UPDATE: 5 November 2018



Northern line is still very active and the fire currently moved in a direction of Barrydale.  Mopping-up operations will be taking place throughout the day.

Cooler weather conditions and overnight rain aided fire fighting operations.  Currently no direct threat to infrastructure or people, however, there are still several active fire lines. Mopping-up operations will be taking place throughout the day.
No active fire lines.  Mopping-up operations will be taking place throughout the day.
Cooler weather conditions and overnight rain aided fire fighting operations.  Currently an active fire line at Waboomskraal/Jonkersberg.  Additional resources has been sent to attend to the hotspots at Noll, Kransbos.  Aerial resources cannot be use due to low visibility.  The precaution evacuation of the Diepwalle and Kransbos communities will remain in place, until it is confirm that the area is safe.
Fire was cause by lightning and is high up in the mountains.  The fire will be monitored and acted upon, if it pose a threat.
Issued by the Garden Route DM JOC.
Contact the Emergency Call Centre on 044 805 5071

Hessequa Fire Update

5 November 2018


Currently attending to fires in Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, Garcia and Kruisriver. The decision was made by the JOC to evacuate the Garcia community yesterday because of the fire threatening the Garcia Bosdorp community.

The community was moved to Riversdale Rugby stadium in Riversdale. This is a precautionary measure to safeguard the community until the fire passed that area, or fire has been contained. Currently 65 people are housed within a hall on the premises.

Resources at these fires include fire fighters and resources from CapeNature, Hessequa Municipality, Working on Fire, Garden Route District Municipality and Private Landowners.

The pass is currently open

Currently a total of 8, 352 ha was burnt in the area, all hiking trails are closed and we ask the public to stay away from the natural areas in this region for their own safety.

Any donations of sandwiches, water or cooldrinks (please no peanuts due to allergies) can be delivered to the Riversdal Fire Station (between Engen and Toyota).

Hopefully the rain today will bring some relief to the fire fighting efforts.

Released by CapeNature on behalf of the Hessequa Unified Command



In die Hessequa area is daar tans vure wat geveg word in die Boosmansbos Wildernes Area, Garcia en Kruisrivier. ‘n Besluit is gister geneem, deur die gesamentlike bevelspan, om die Garcia gemeenskap te ontruim vir hulle eie veiligheid. Daar is tans 65 mense ontruim en hulle bevind hulself in die Riversdal Rugby stadion in Riversdal.

Die vure in die area word bestry met brandbestryders en hulpbronne van CapeNature, Hessequa Munisipaliteit, Werk vir Vuur, Garden Route Distrik Munisipaliteit en privaate grond eienaars.

Die pas is oop vir verkeer.

Daar is reeds ongeveer 8,352 ha wat gebrand het in die area, alle staproetes is gesluit en ons vra die publiek om uit die natuurlike areas in die omgewing te bly.

Eenige donasies van water, kooldranke of broodjies kan afgelewer word by die Riversdal Brandweer Stasie.

Hopelik sal die reen vandag help met die brandbestryding.

Vrygestel deur CapeNature namens die Hessequa Gesamentlike Bestuur span

[10:07, 11/5/2018] Chantel Gm: Hessequa Fire Update

5 November 2018


The weather for today is predicted to be 13°C with fresh breeze, 8 m/s from west southwest, and cloudy, more light rain.


Branch I: Boosmansbos

DIV A & X was contained overnight. Fire line in Div C was not visible this morning due to clouds, however ground crew will be deployed to mop up. Three WoF teams (Walker bay and Bredasdorp this morning) and Swellendam WoF this evening. There are still smouldering logs in the indigenous forest and next to the jeep tracks, (DIV A) These areas will be monitored and mopped up with the CapeNature skid unit.

Branch II: Garcia Fire

A Recce is currently underway to assess the situation. Direct attack and mop up operations is been done at Division Z to secure the area around Garcia bosdorp. Fire line also creeping into the young veld area. This Division is contained along the road, but smoke still noted towards the east. Tankers and units sent in to deal with flare up in the northeast corner of the plantation.

Branch III: Kruisriver

There are limited concerns at this branch. The famers and Hessequa municipality resources are on site to monitor the situation and mop up.


The decision was made by the JOC to evacuate the Garcia community because of the fire threatening the Garcia Bosdorp community

At 17h40 the evacuation plan was executed by SAPS, EMS, Garden Route Fire services, Hessequa Local Municipality and Hessequa municipality Technical services. The community was moved to Riversdale Rugby stadium in Riversdale. This is a precautionary measure to safeguard the community until the fire passed that area, or fire has been contained.

The number of people evacuated is still to be confirmed as well as when they will return to their homes.


Branch I: Boosmansbos

· 2X CapeNature Skid units with three crew

· Walker Bay WoF with 16 firefighters

· Bredasdorp WoF with 20 firefighters

· Swellendam WoF with 12 firefighters

Branch II: Garcia Plantation

· Riversdale WoF-B with 21 Firefighters

· Hottentots Holland WoF with 19 firefighters

· Grags WoF with 14 firefighters

· Riversdale WoF-A with 12 Firefighters

· Garden Route District Municipality resources

· (Tata 2500l Tanker, 4000l Tanker, and 1xSkid unit)

· Evacuation Group 2: SAPS & EMS

Branch III: Kruisriver

· Private landowners with four (4) skid units

· Group 1: Hessequa Municipality skid unit

TOTAL Ha’s burnt as of 4 Nov:

Branch I Boosmansbos: 1205ha

Branch II Garcia: 4480ha

Branch III Kruisrivier: 2667ha

Released by CapeNature on behalf of the Hessequa Unified Command (Riversdal)


The evening was cool with low speed winds from east but turned to the NE during the early hours of the morning. These conditions reduced the running lines on the northern fireline and reduced the heat intensity of flare ups along these lines. They did however; raise fire lines on the southern fireline. Firelines were active in the de Vlugt area and in the SW of the fire.  Flare ups were contained through the evening and early hours of the morning. Flare ups are at the moment minimal and are addressed in short periods of time. Many lines have effectively been contained but the long distances and accessibility of lines do make mopping up slow and difficult in places.

The weather for today is predicted to be 11°C on average for the day and the wind will remain at about 12km/h predominantly from the south, 6mm of rain is expected across all divisions, however this may be less on the northern side of the mountains.   

These conditions are conducive to mopping up activities and increased ground crew resources, if effectively managed, can result in the current 30% containment areas to increase to 80 % containment by the end of the next four operational periods. 

It is planned to replace some of the exhausted Incident Management Teams (IMT) members with rested fresh staff. The cool rainy conditions do allow a good rest opportunity for the regional staff allowing them to resume positions in the period which shows hotter weather later in the week. Briefing meetings have improved in efficiency and line staff are attending, allowing for improved quality of assignment tasking and better communications throughout the operational period. 

Injuries: None


The southern line on Jonkersberg fire and Groeneweide Farm have not joined yet. Active lines moved south during the evening were anchored on old plantation roads and suppressed where possible. No threats at this point. Plantation lines on the urban interface have been well contained with good scratch lines and effective mopping up. Northern area at Highlands lodge has been contained and are currently mopping up.


Lines are mostly being mopped up and containment actions are progressing. Activities are still focussed on the Goudveld hot lines.


Firelines are still active along Jonkersrust in heavy fuels and alien infested areas. Dubbelberg, Jonksrus, Enselin and EP van Rooyen all have active lines which being anchored, suppressed and mopped up where possible.

Total Resources – 05 November 06h00 to 05 November 18h00

·         Working on Fire (153 firefighters, 8 vehicles)

·         GRDM Fire (9 firefighters, 3 vehicles)

·         George Mun Fire (2 firefighters, 1 vehicle)          

·         Knysna Mun Fire (2 firefighters, 1 vehicle)          

·         Cape Pine  (18 firefighters, 6 vehicles)

·         Cape Nature (46 firefighters, 8 vehicles)

·         San Parks (10 firefighters, 2 vehicles)

·         PG Bison (55 firefighters)

·         West Coast DM Fire (10 firefighters, 3 vehicles)

·         Cape Winelands DM Fire (8 firefighters, 3 vehicles)

·         Enviro Volunteer Wildfire Services (2 firefighters, 1 vehicle)      

·         Incident Working Group Africa (3 firefighters, 1 vehicle)              

·         Overberg DM Fire ( 5 firefighters, 2 vehicles)

TOTAL   323 firefighters, 39 vehicles

Aerial firefighting

·         6 Spotters (WoF)

·         5 Helicopters (4 from WoF, 1 SAAF)

·         3 Bombers (WoFO

Issued by the Garden Route DM JOC.

Emergency Call Centre 044 805 5071

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