In an echo of last year, fires at St Francis flared up once again – not pretty and very sad. Images and Video from various WhatsApp users.
At 11h00, Tuesday, 18th December, NSRI St Francis Bay crew were activated to assist at multiple houses alight in St Francis Bay Village.
NSRI St Francis Bay and NSRI Oyster Bay dispatched crews to assist and DRM (Disaster Risk Management) and DRM volunteers, Traffic Services, SA Police Services, Private Care ambulance services, EC Government Health EMS and Fire Departments from St Francis Bay, Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay, Kareedouw, Nelson Mandela Bay and Kouga, including the Sarah Baartman District ,were dispatched and Calibre Smhart G4s security companies and a large deployment of community members and residents assisted.
Farmers from Patensie, Thornhills and Rocklands also arrived and assisted on the scene and NSRI Oyster Bay appealed to the Brakkeduine 4×4 group who sent teams of members to assist.
An evacuation of residents from houses in the immediate affected area was ordered by the Municipality while teams of fire fighters, emergency services, volunteers, residents and good samaritans battled to contain the multiple fires and flare ups.
A patient triage area was set up at a local church where smoke inhalation and injuries were attended to.
An NSRI doctor, local doctors and NSRI and volunteer DRM medics assisted paramedics treating patients for minor to moderate injuries and one serious injury was attended to.
One patient, an adult male, suffered serious carbon monoxide poisoning and he has been transported to hospital by ambulance in a serious condition.
A number of houses have been raised to the ground and it is believed that at least 20 houses have been affected but this number has not been confirmed, from a fire that spread quickly across thatch roof houses and dry vegetation in the area fanned by strong winds.
Vegetation fires on open surrounding lands were also attended to but despite the fire being brought largely under control hot spots will continue to be monitored throughout the night and flare ups from strong winds continue to raise concerns.
Residents and their pets were evacuated to safety.