The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Overberg, Pringle Bay

EMERGENCY UPDATE: Pearly Beach and Pringle Bay Residents Evacuated Amid Escalating Wildfires

Michael Hawthorne

In a rapidly evolving situation, wildfires continue to wreak havoc in the Overberg area, specifically impacting the coastal towns of Pearly Beach and Pringle Bay. The latest updates from various sources shed light on the severity of the situation, necessitating immediate action and cooperation from residents and authorities alike.

Road Closures and Poor Visibility

As of 1:00 PM on February 1, 2024, the Overstrand Municipal Manager, Dean O’Neill, announced the closure of the R43 between Pearly Beach and Buffeljags due to poor visibility caused by smoke and the presence of emergency vehicles on the road. Traffic officials are on the scene to redirect vehicles, emphasizing the need for caution and adherence to road closures for public safety.

Hangklip Road Fire Rekindles, Evacuation Orders Issued

The Hangklip Road fire, now in its fourth day, has experienced a resurgence as reported at 10:30 AM. Aerial resources have been deployed once again to assist ground teams and crews in Pringle Bay. O’Neill issued an evacuation order for households in Ceaser and surrounding roads in Pringle Bay. The designated assembly point for evacuees is the Kleinmond Town Hall, urging residents to prioritize their safety and follow evacuation procedures promptly.

Rietfontein Fire Update: Collaborative Efforts Underway

According to the Overberg District Municipality (ODM) Fire Chief’s update on the Rietfontein Fire significant progress has been made with the fire now 50% contained. However, challenges persist with a long and dangerous line still active. The objectives remain focused on preventing further spread into farmlands and the Cape Agulhas National Park.

CSIR AFIS Map shot from yesterday showing the fire activity.

A collaborative effort involving various agencies, teams, landowners, and volunteers is underway. Overberg District Municipality, SANParks – Agulhas National Park, Greater Overberg FPA, NCC Wildfires, Volunteer Wildfire Services, Working on Fire, and local landowners are working collectively to manage the situation. Aerial resources are on standby for deployment as needed.

The ODM expresses gratitude for the overwhelming support from the community in terms of donations and offers of help. A special appreciation post is promised for those who have contributed to the ongoing firefighting efforts.

To contribute to the cause, individuals interested in donating can drop off their contributions with Ronel Burger at the ODM Fire Station in Bredasdorp.

As the situation continues to unfold, residents are urged to stay informed through official channels, adhere to evacuation orders, and cooperate with authorities. The Cape Navigator will provide timely updates as the situation develops.

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