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George residents evacuated due to fire on Outeniqua mountain

George Municipality is currently evacuating residents from Blanco Valley and Step-Aside as a precaution.

The Outeniqua Pass remained closed on 29 October 2018 until further notice.Picture: @TrafficSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Some George residents are being evacuated due to a fire on the Outeniqua mountain range.

George Municipality is currently evacuating residents from Blanco Valley and Step-Aside as a precaution.

Provincial government spokesperson James Brent-Styan says there is no reason for panic.

“They will be evacuated using the Go George buses, SAPS and the provincial and local traffic services will be assisting. It’s a precaution at this stage. [We are] trying to act responsibly and people will be taken to the town hall. We just want to ask people to move along kindly.”

The fire has been burning since last week.

SANParks firefighters have been able to contain a section of the blaze in Karatara.

The Outeniqua Pass remains closed until further notice.

Brent-Styan says 300 firefighters on the ground have no air support.

“Outeniqua fire in the George area remains active on the mountain slope, and it’s challenging considering the prevailing weather condition which continues to make aerial support very difficult.”

Last week, a firefighting helicopter crashed in the Southern Cape, killing the pilot.

Meanwhile, a George resident has described how her family has had to leave their home due to fire on the Outeniqua mountain range.

Fernridge resident Tania Tait was forced to pack up her family, pets and personal belongings.

She says they've moved to a house in Sedgefield.

“I live in an area quite close to the mountain and we’ve been watching the fires all night. We had a ladder up to the roof to watch the fire's progress. This morning when we were leaving for school we were stopped by a neighbourhood watch person who said that it was advised that we should start the evacuation.”

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