E Cape residents evacuated due to veld fires

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Residents of Clarkson, a small town in the Tsitsikama region in the Eastern Cape have been evacuated due to a veld fire that flared up on Saturday morning.

Nine people have already died and thousands have been displaced since the veld fires started on the Garden Route in the Southern Cape earlier this week.

The N2 between Tsitsikama and Humansdorp is also being monitored by traffic officials and may be closed due to low visibility cause by the smoke from the fire.

Motorists are advised to use alternative routes.

Eastern Cape head of Co-operative Governance,  Gabisile Gumb-Masilela, says they are closely monitoring the situation.

“It was not completely put out by the wind. The winds are still quite high here so, we will be monitoring all areas for the rest of the day and into the night. We cannot take any chances, these type of fires can flare up again at any given time.”

Meanwhile, residents of Jonkersberg, between George and Great Brak River, as well as Buffelsnek and Diepwalle near Knysna are also being evacuated, due to veld fires burning close to their communities.

The Garden Route District Municipality says residents from Jonkersberg will be accommodated at Van der Hoven Primary School in Sinksabrug and the Outeniqualand NG Church Hall.

Those from Buffelsnek will be taken to the Wittedrift High School Hall.

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