Strong winds have fanned a fire that started at Witelsbos in Tsitsikamma and forced authorities to close the N2, Working on Fire reports. Five teams ( Witelsbos, Sarah Baartman, Tsitsikamma, Longmore, Kromsriver) from the western part of the Eastern Cape together with Aerial Resources (one chopper) have been dispatched to assist MOT (Mountain to Ocean) and SaNParks in suppressing the fire that started this morning.
Working on Fire (WOF) is a programme of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment. “This fire is said to be out of control and the N2 road is still closed,” said communications officer Nthabiseng Mokone . Traffic is being diverted via the R102.
“The wind is very strong in the area. The cause of this fire is unknown at the moment and no structures are burnt yet. Community members are urged to be on the alert at all times,” said Mokone.
This week the Fire Danger Index (FDI) is high in most parts of the Eastern Cape Province. Makhanda and surrounding areas fall within the fire danger category of ‘very dangerous’.
Fire Danger Index is a rating system that provides an indication as to the fire risk for a specific area. FDI has five colours which represent days and also assist people to know on which days are safe to burn.
The blue colour indicates that there is low fire hazards, green colour indicates moderate danger, yellow indicate dangerous, orange indicates very dangerous while red indicates that’s its extremely dangerous to start the fire on that day.
Sources: Working on Fire and South African Weather Service