For the first time, this blog owner and victim of the fire, feels that truth is being told. I extend great thanks to Afriforum for securing Klazow’s services and looking out for the interests of us citizens where local government has blatantly failed.
What has been labelled as the Great Knysna Fire began it’s destruction on June 7 2017. The report makes for fascinating reading that results into the serious need for accountability.
SUMMARY OF KNYSNA FIRE REPORT
“The investigation conducted by this author [Dr David Klatzow] involved a number of fires extending from Mossel Bay to Plettenberg Bay on 7 June and subsequent days.
Grave concern existed countrywide and in the social media that these fires might have had some political agenda.
My investigations showed that an accidental fire started at Dam se Bos, east of Knysna. This fire spread southwards to involve the Pezula Estate, and went on through the wooded areas to reach Plettenberg Bay. The ferocity of this set of fires was exacerbated by the prolonged drought and the development of gale-force winds (which rendered the fire almost unstoppable).
The western suburbs of Knysna were engulfed in a second (unrelated) fire which crossed the estuary at about 07h30 on 7 June. This fire also burned along the Brenton Estate, Brenton-on-Sea and Brenton-on-Lake suburbs along the western shores of the estuary (the western fire). This fire split into two fires, one affecting greater Knysna, the other affecting the western side of the estuary.
These fires had their origin high in the forested area some 20 km to the north-west of Knysna. The ignition source of this fire was a well-documented lightning strike. This caused a localised smouldering combustion which was fanned to significant flaming combustion on the morning of 7 June. The climatic and wind conditions drove this fire into Knysna.
Of concern is the timely and repeated warnings given to the authorities regarding this fire. It appears that these warnings did not result in any action being taken. Prompt fire prevention methods such as water bombing and ground crews may very well have averted this western fire catastrophe.
The fires which occurred at Mossel Bay are separate, being started deliberately, for reasons unknown to this author. The lack of police interest in this context is concerning. There was no sign of any of the fires to the north-east of Plettenberg Bay having been caused by deliberate human agency.
Significant maintenance of the wayleaves and servitudes over which high voltage transmission lines pass requires to be done. The planting of tall trees which can be uprooted onto power lines was observed.”
You can comment on the Love Knysna Facebook page.
Update: A Democratic Alliance councillor’s response in the comment section of Afriforum is disgraceful. Read ‘DA Doesn’t Want Accountability for Knysna Fire‘.