Update on Richards Bay Fires (05/10/2023)
Update on Richards Bay Fires
Aerial bombers, and a very large contingent of ground forces and specialised machines continue to focus all attention on preventing the fire from spreading to any of the neighboring industries and residents.
The fire is contained to the chip piles currently and thankfully no further spread has occurred. TWK and the other neighbors remain safe. We are grateful for that.
Every 24 hours that spread is controlled, becomes a significant success milestone towards final victory over the fire.
Fidelity group have rallied to assist and have provided, all the way from Johannesburg overnight, a high-tech specialist fire retardant applied by a powerful high-volume tanker. The retardant forms a cooling “shell” over the surface, thereby starving the fire of oxygen and heat. This technology may well play a major role in overcoming the chip pile fires and reduce the time to final extinguishing. So good are the prospects of this technology that we are working on the logistics and technicalities of mixing the polymer on site and creating enough volume to be distributed to other firefighting units. This should be readily available in the next 24 hours. More Fidelity resources are on route from Johannesburg.
Whilst fairly contained, and despite the massive assault on it by many fire-fighting teams and specialised equipment, the fire is still likely to burn for a considerable time. High concentrations of wood smoke continue to be emitted from the scene, which is unavoidable. As a precaution, people are encouraged to remain indoors as far as possible to reduce exposure to smoke irritants. Fortunately, no chemicals are present in the smoke to add further health risk.
No injuries have been reported from the site to date. A real accolade to the awareness, professionalism, and care of those attending.
A warning to the public to be aware of scam invitations being circulated on social media to deposit donations into a fire disaster fund. NCT and other organisations involved in firefighting have not established such a fund.
NCT remains hugely grateful to all persons and private and state organisations that have selflessly rallied to assist. A true caring South African nature is clearly being illustrated amidst this tragic event.
Danny Knoesen -General Manager