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. “The fire in Knysna is the largest and most destructive fire in a built up area in the Western Cape in recent memory with thousands displaced. It comes on the back of the worst storm seen in the Western Cape in at least thirty years,” the report said. READ MORE