Fire rages outside Port Elizabeth

Fire rages outside Port Elizabeth

28 October 2005

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Uitenhage, South Africa — Firefighters were on Friday workingto contain a fire in the Rocklands and Elandsriver areas outside Port Elizabeth,a fire official said.

“It’s not fully under control because of the wind, but we are trying ourbest to contain it,” said the Cacadu district fire service coordinator,Spannie Spangenberg.

Lulamile Jack, acting manager for fire and emergency services in the NelsonMandela metropolis, said a fire started on Wednesday night at the Longmoreflower plantation, causing extensive damage.

“It was brought under control, but suddenly a strong wind came up and blewit in a different direction,” Jack said.

The fire ran over the mountain and into the valley, where there was no accessfor vehicles carrying firefighting equipment.

The flames threatened houses, warehouses and a nursery, and at one stage burntbales at the Rockland chicken farm.

“We have been experiencing wind the whole week; it is very strong,”said Jack, explaining the difficulties facing the 15 firefighters on the scene. 

“The whole of Uitenhage is engulfed in smoke.”

A South African Forestry Company plantation nearby did not appear to be inimmediate danger.

No injuries have been reported so far and no damage to structures.

 All firefighters in the region are on standby.

Working on Fire, an organisation funded by the government’s expanded publicworks programme, said it was deployed to help fight the fire.

A light drizzle has moved into the area and it is hoped that this will bringrelief.

Fire cuts power in Klein Karoo 

Meanwhile, technicians were battling to restore power in parts of the KleinKaroo left without electricity after a fire, Eskom said on Friday.

The fire in Waboomskraal, behind George, burnt down two wooden structurescarrying electricity on Thursday night, plunging into darkness Oudtshoorn,Calitzdorp, De Rust and Dysseldorp.

Spokesperson Eone de Villiers said the fire damage had been repaired, buttechnicians were still experiencing problems with one of the power stations.

Eskom had hoped to have power restored by mid-morning on Friday, but was nowaiming for noon.


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