Residents begin to count the costs as Knysna fire contained

The death of a woman over the weekend now brings to seven the number of people who've died in the blaze.

Things we lost in the fire. Remnants of lives. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Knysna residents are counting the costs after deadly wildfires devastated the region.

The death of a woman over the weekend now brings to seven the number of people who've died in the blaze.

The woman passed away in Tygerberg Hospital. Her three-year-old daughter also died last week.

The announcement of Enala Manda’s death came shortly after news of volunteer firefighter 63-year-old John Blaauw’s passing as a result of the raging fires.

Manda’s relative, Alfonso Niyirenda, says that fourteen happy years in Knysna have now been marred by the loss of his family member.

“My niece and her mother were trapped in the fire. My niece died on the same spot and her mother died in hospital.”

On Wednesday, Bradley Richards, a 24-year-old Plettenberg Bay volunteer firefighter, died after flames caused him to suffer 70% burn wounds to his body.

A family of three, including a toddler who was about to celebrate his third birthday, also perished in the inferno last week.

The Knysna Municipality's Fran Kirsten says the fires have been contained for now.

“The fires are all still contained and we had no further cases over the night. Our teams are still monitoring the situation and hopefully they’ll be able to control it today.”

WATCH: Knysna fires claim homes but not hope


Southern Cape residents say it will take years for them to rebuild their lives.

Over 400 properties have been destroyed.

This Brenton-on-Sea resident says she's fortunate enough to have escaped the blaze unscathed.

“It’s terrible. I’ve just spoken to my friend. They’ve managed to find a place to stay. Their house was burnt to the ground.”

#KnysnaFire: Today is the day


Knysna residents have been urged to reduce their water consumption as supply is running low due to ongoing firefighting operations.

Municipal manager Johnny Douglas explains: “We did declare a disaster on the water side. We have about 28 days of water in our off-channel dam and request members of the community to use water sparingly.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)