Eig­ht die in Ka­ra­ta­ra fi­re

Oudtshoorn Courant - - NUUS - KRISTY KOLBERG

In less than 24 hours, a fi­re that star­ted in Ka­ra­ta­ra on Mon­day 29 Oc­to­ber clai­med mo­re li­ves than the haunting Knys­na fi­res of 2017.

An un­born ba­by, six c­hild­ren and two wo­men died an un­thin­ka­ble de­ath w­hen the hou­se they we­re in was ra­zed to the ground du­ring one of the big­ge­st wild­fi­res the Gar­den Rou­te has seen in ye­ars.

Mo­re than 65 000 hec­ta­res of land and ve­ge­ta­ti­on we­re de­stroy­ed by fi­res a­round Ge­or­ge and Knys­na in the past week. El­sa­bé Wind­vo­gel (42), Et­han Wind­vo­gel (2), And­rea Be­wee (21), Na­la­ya Oelf (5), Ni­ah Oelf (3), A­liy­ah Oelf (13 mont­hs) and Na­la­ni Oelf (11 mont­hs) we­re all fa­mi­ly mem­bers of re­ti­red SANParks staff living in Far­leigh ne­ar Ka­ra­ta­ra. Be­wee was ex­pecting her ba­by to ar­ri­ve soon.

The fa­mi­ly, who was s­till trau­ma­ti­sed on Wed­nes­day mor­ning, did not want to gi­ve any com­ment.

A to­tal of 18 hou­ses burnt do­wn in staff sett­le­ments and 75 pe­op­le we­re left ho­me­less by the fi­res. All the victims are cur­rent­ly ac­com­mo­da­ted in the Wil­der­ness secti­on of the Gar­den Rou­te Na­ti­o­nal Park.

“We ex­tend our con­do­len­ces to the fa­mi­ly who ha­ve tra­gi­cal­ly lost lo­ved on­es in the fi­re and we will con­ti­nue to sup­port them in t­his trying ti­me,” says the park’s acting chief exe­cu­ti­ve of­fi­cer, Li­ze M­cCourt.

She com­men­ded mem­bers of staff who ha­ve been fig­hting the fi­re as well as ho­no­ra­ry ran­gers and e­ver­yo­ne who wor­ked to­get­her to con­tain the fi­res.

Ap­prox­i­ma­te­ly 5 000 hec­ta­res of fyn­bos within the na­ti­o­nal park was de­stroy­ed by the fi­re.

P­ho­to: Gar­den Rou­te Fi­re Watch Fa­ce­book pa­ge

Da­ma­ge cau­sed by the fi­re at the SANParks camp in Bar­ring­ton ne­ar Ka­ra­ta­ra.

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