The worst winter storm to hit South Africa’s drought-stricken province of Western Cape fueled a massive wildfire near the city of Knysna (population 77 000). The fire has so far destroyed at least 150 structures, caused deaths of 3 people and forced 10 000 Knysna residents to evacuate. Provincial fire officials are describing the fire as the largest and most destructive in a built-up area in recent memory. The region is suffering its worst drought in more than 100 years.
Strong winds produced by a massive winter storm, ‘mother of all storms’ as it’s been named by South African media, turned wildfire that started near Knysna on June 6 into a massive blaze on June 7, 2017.
According to Situation Report released by the Western Cape Government at 23:50 UTC, 8 000 – 10 000 evacuations have taken place.