7 June 2017
Eden District, Garden Route, South Africa
On the night of June 6th, 2017, a destructive storm-front met with the coastline of the Western Cape, South Africa. While the city of Cape Town and its surrounds were ravaged by fierce rain and winds, the somewhat slumbering drought-stricken Eden District, along the Garden Route, experienced mostly the winds pushed-on by the front.
Most awoke to smoke in the distance as the gale-force gusts continued throughout the morning at speeds of up to 100km per hour, but no-one had any idea that catastrophe was on the cards. It is said the fire may well have been a result of unattended coals burning beneath the ground in the area of Eland's Kraal (some 45km from Knysna), that had been burning for some time after an electric storm weeks earlier. With the hot gale-force winds urging sparks along the surface, the dry land didn't stand a chance.
Over the days that followed, which to some felt like an eternity, the fire would weave, fork and race its way through the district as far as Plettenberg Bay and beyond. Up to ten-thousand people were evacuated from Knysna in the dead of night, with thousands more evacuated from neighboring towns such as Brenton-on-Sea. For five days and nights the blaze continued - firefighters were brought in from around the country to assist.
Lives were lost - properties were destroyed beyond repair. The fire resembled, very closely, the Great Fires of 1869. This site is dedicated to the Knysna Fires that began June 7th, 2017. Although the flames on land have died since then, those in the hearts of humanity have not.
#KnysnaRises is not just a hashtag. It is the epitome of tenacity, hope, perseverance and dedication.
On June 7th around one third of the land within the RFMU was overrun by a fire that jumped the Goukamma river on its western boundary.
After being destroyed in the Knysna fires, Karl van Lith and Daniel Hennessy, bought the goodwill and entire staff compliment that made the business an institution within the Knysna community.
Knysna Fires 7th June have partnered with @home - the homeware store to provide you with a wonderful platform to provide assistance to those most affected by the Knysna Fires.
Our mission is to provide ongoing updates about the Knysna Disaster, Eden District Fires, June 7th, 2017. We provide logistical and facilitative support for donors wanting to help with the relief effort. Follow us on social media for continual updates on how Knysna and her people are rising from the ashes, rebuilding their lives and our beautiful town to their former glory. We invite the world to watch as #KnysnaRises!
From that moment on, our lives changed ....
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