Knysna community rebuilds after devastating fires

Huge fires wreaked havoc in the Southern Cape region last week with a massive firestorm ripping through a large tract of the Garden Route.

Children play in the debris of 40 shacks  that burnt down in White Location, an informal settlement in Knysna. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Knysna Municipality says a large-scale construction programme is underway to rebuild the town.

Huge fires wreaked havoc in the Southern Cape region last week with a massive firestorm ripping through a large tract of the Garden Route.

GALLERY: The Garden Route fires in pictures

Seven people died and many people were forced to flee their homes, as fires spread to various towns and suburbs.

Many Eden District residents celebrated the teams of firemen in the form of a “thank you march” through Knysna's main road on Saturday.

Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies says efforts are underway to repair the infrastructure destroyed by the devastating fire.

“We will have to rise and rebuild this town to even better than it was before.”

She also extended her gratitude to the firefighters for their tireless commitment in keeping the area safe.

“As the town’s leaders and people, we say thank you very much.”

More than 1,000 firefighters from around the country have been called in to assist with firefighting operations in and around the tourist town.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)