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[LIVE] #KnysnaFires: Firefighter dies, fires move on to Plett

Officials have described the Knysna fire as the largest and most destructive fire in a built-up area in recent years.

[WATCH] A marquee being erected on the Loerie Park Sports field to accommodate more medical emergencies.

The battle continues...

A car that was burnt during the fires.

Picture: Cameron Valentine/EWN.

What's left of the properties destroyed during the fire:

Picture: Cameron Valentine/Facebook.

Properties destroyed by the fire:

WATCH LIVE as helicopters waterbomb the Knysna High School sports field.

Electricity has been affected by the fires

The fires are not necessarily under control...

At least 10,000 people, including hospital patients, have been evacuated. 

Five people have died: A man and his wife and their son, could not escape the fire and died in Rheenendal on Wednesday. An elderly man who lives in Brenton had a heart-attack and died on the same day. A firefighter died today after sustaining burn wounds to his upper body while battling the fires.

So what do we know about the fires thus far?

A detailed forecast for Knysna:

An urgent call to residents once again: 

A screengrab of the South African Weather Service's forecast for Knysna for the week ahead.

BREAKING NEWS: The fires have claimed another life, this time a firefighter.

A firefighter was seriously injured while battling the raging fire.

At least 150 properties have been destroyed and up to 10,000 people have been evacuated.

Wrecked houses near Sedgefield. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

The fire's effects are plain to see, with some homes reduced to burnt out shells and businesses gutted.

Let's recap...

Stay with EWN as we bring you rolling updates and the latest news from Knysna and the Western Cape.

DHL has partnered with the Western Cape government to support their relief efforts in Knysna and surrounding areas.

 A burnt out vehicle. Picture: Facebook. 

Free State, Bloemfontein and Marquard firefighting teams on their way to assist WC teams battling Knysna fire

The UK government has released a statement saying "Affected British Nationals requiring consular assistance are advised to call our call centre on 0214052400."


Burnt house at Noetzie, at least 3 burnt down there and a few inside the Pezula estate also. Picture: Facebook.

Fires around the Pezula Golf Estate are now under control.

Knysna devastation:

The lush vegetation that usually greets motorists upon entering Knysna, has been reduced to a charred landscape. Picture: EWN

In a statement, Brand SA's CEO , Dr Kingsley Makhubela said, " Brand South Africa is working closely with the Gift of the Givers in providing humanitarian support in the form of food, water, shelter. Now more than ever it is important for citizens to unite and play their part by assisting in any way they can”.

Brand South Africa has called on citizens for humanitarian support during the Knysna fires and #CapeStorms

[IN PICTURES AND VIDEOS] Talk Radio 702 has put together scenes of devastation in Knysna:

VIDEOS AND PICS #KnysnaFire: Scenes of devastation

Thousands of residents were forced to flee their homes as the #KnysnaFire raged through the town, gutting dozens of houses.

The N2 remains closed off to traffic between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay due to the raging fire. 

SANDF equipment will also be used in assisting with the water-bombing operation to extinguish the blaze.

The SANDF’s Simphiwe Dlamini says that due to the severe weather conditions in Cape Town, pilots operating the military helicopters will have a difficult time trying to extinguish the fire.

Situation Update Report from Eden DMC:

A screengrab of wind forecast for Knysna:

Gale force winds are set to continue until 5pm, this, according to the SA Weather Service.

Cabinet has expressed its condolences to those affected by the fire:

NEWS JUST IN: The Knysna fire has claimed another life bringing the death toll to 4.

Knysna High Hostel. Picture: Knysna fires Facebook

Bed & Breakfast on Main Road in Knysna Picture: Supplied.

Restaurant chain Spur is delivering 2,000 burgers for those in need

Relief efforts in Knysna:

[INFOGRAPHIC] Areas affected by the fire

There is a white bakkie looting houses:

The 150 soldiers will be there to guard the property of those who had to evacuate their homes.

A section of N2 between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay has been closed to traffic as the fire is burning on both sides of the road. Picture: Richard Wallis/iWitness

About 150 SANDF soldiers will be deployed to Knysna

The Garden Route is still on fire:

Image of the Knysna forest burning.

Help is being offered:

Officials have described this fire as the largest and most destructive in a built-up area in recent years.

About 50 homes were burnt to the ground.  

One of the houses devastated by the fire. Picture: Supplied. 

The Knysna Golf Club burnt down, evacuations were successful. Picture: Kabelo Shomang/Facebook.

UPDATE: At least 82 patients have been evacuated from the Knsyna Hospital as authorities battle raging fires. 

For donations, the Eden District disaster management has opened a hotline:

Screengrab of the South African Weather Service's weather forecast for Knysna for the next week:

However, no rainfall is predicted for the next week

The Weather Service's website shows that there is a 30 percent chance of rain over Knysna today, with a maximum of around 5mm expected if there are showers.

“Knysna is in perpetual darkness. It’s a disaster here. It’s crazy. Some people are fire-locked. They have water on the one side and the fire on the mountains on the other side. It’s really bad.”

Resident Richard Wallis said.

The first fire, which broke out near Plettenberg Bay last night, was contained. Picture: Richard Wallis.

The strong winds which were brought in by the #CapeStorm, pushed flames towards homes in Belvidere, Breonton-on-Sea and Rheenendal. Knysna was experiencing hot and dry weather.



So what caused these fires? 

The fire in Knysna. Picture: Richard Wallis/iWitness

Up to 10,000 people have been evacuated from Knysna as a result of runaway fires in the area.

Three people have died as a result of the blaze.


Let's recap what we know so far...

Welcome to EWN's live blog on the Knysna fires. Stay with us as we bring you rolling updates and the latest news from Knysna and the Western Cape.