A New Source for Wildfire Intelligence and Discussion

The 2018 wildfire season is already off to a strong start. So far this year major fires have already igniting across Texas, Oklahoma, and the southwest. As we move into the summer months, increasingly warm and dry conditions will continue to fuel the threat of wildfires. The National Inter-agency Fire Center released their fire potential outlook for summer months, predicting an above average fire season for all of the twelve western states making wildfire intelligence gathering even more essential. This foreboding outlook comes on the heels of an oft dubbed “unprecedented” 2017 wildfire season that shattered multiple records.

A Trusted Source Lost

2017 thrust the threat of wildfires back into the public spotlight. Numerous fires across the United States grabbed nationwide media attention but none more than the two most significant California fires; The October Fire Siege in Napa/Sonoma and the Thomas Fire in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area. With broadcast and social media flooding in, one trusted source of wildfire intelligence was surprisingly absent from the conversation. Without notice, during the late season chaos of the Thomas fire, the WildlandFire.com forum was taken offline and all the data was lost.

What was WildlandFire.com?

WildlandFire.com was conceived in the early nineties as a way to provide, “a quick, reliable system to allow firefighters and other employees (and their families) the ability to voice their thoughts, ideas, experiences, or even ask a few simple questions.”. By the late nineties the forum gained traction, soon becoming a trusted source within the firefighting community.

Wildfire Intelligence Forum

Understanding the essential role this type of web forum plays, a conversation started on how to revive the website. A group of “devout users and former moderators” ultimately decided it was best to spin-off a new website. This new website, branded wildfireintel.org, was created as a non-profit with the mission to create a forum for discussing “topics important to the fire community”. Relevant subjects include fire related “incidents, jobs, industry, safety, and health”.

Wildfire Intelligence Forum Example

An example of how the forum is structured based off geographic regions.

For More Information and How to Register

Although it’s still in the initial stages of development, wildfireintel.org is now up and running. Knowing that forums survive by the active participation of its users the founders of the website are encouraging the fire community to contribute to the site. The founders hope that with increased participation an “active and sustainable wildfire community” will again foster. For more information, please visit the wildfireintel.org website and/or become more involved by registering.


Wildfire Intelligence Logo

tinder thumbnail

Illegal Campfire the Cause of Destructive Tinder Fire

The Tinder fire was ignited Friday April 30th in the Blue Ridge area about 50 miles southeast of Flagstaff. RedZone began actively monitoring that afternoon as it grew to 50 acres. By Saturday night the fire slowly grew to 230 and then 500 acres only. On Sunday, things changed drastically. Fanned by strong southwest winds, the Tinder fire made an 8,000 acre run to the Northeast. The run pushed the fire into and beyond the community along Hwy 87 threatening homes in the Moquis Ranchettes, Starlight Pines, Clear Creek, Timber Ranch, Tamarron, Pine Canyon, Blue Ridge Estates, Ponderosa Pines and Mogollon Ranches areas.

Tinder Fire Slows its Growth

Monday, the fire has grew to over 11,000 acres with most of the growth, luckily, on the right or eastern flank where there are no homes or neighborhoods. Fortunately, despite strong winds continuing in the area, only 300 acres of growth was seen yesterday. In addition, the fire area experienced precipitation of snow and light rain overnight that should assist firefighters’ progress (from only 7% as of 5/2/18) with containment lines. Furthermore, with an estimated 30 homes impacted, damage assessments were  completed Monday by the IMT. But, as of today, there were still no results released to the public. As a result of the fire situation, road, area and trail closures are in effect.

tinder fire map

The Tinder Fire Perimeter as of May 2nd, 2018


Tinder Fire Facts: (As of May 2, 2018)

  • Location: Blue Ridge Reservoir, 48mi SE of Flagstaff, AZ
  • Cause: Investigators have confirmed that the cause of the blaze was an abandoned illegal campfire.
  • Size: 11,736 acres
  • Containment: 7%
  • Fire Behavior: Moderate fire spread through timber and chaparral.
  • Structures Threatened: _1,700_ PRIM; __COMM; __OUTB
  • Structures Destroyed: _UNK_ PRIM; __COMM; __OUTB

Additional Tinder Fire Info:

For further info, please visit:

The Watchers News – Arizona



Thomas Fire Set to Become Largest in CA History

UPDATE 01/03/18 @ 4:49 p.m. – The fire is now 92% contained at 281,893 acres.

Thomas Fire Summary

The Thomas Fire began in Ventura County just north of Santa Paula around 630pm on Monday December 4th. Under Red Flag and Santa Ana Conditions the fire quickly made a push along Hwy 150 to the south and parallel to Hwy126 to the west threatening Santa Paula and Ventura the first night. The fire continued its push west, crossing Hwy 33 and reaching the ocean at Hwy 101 shortly after. Over the course of the next week the fire slowly boxed in Ojai, eventually surrounding it, and pushed its way further west towards the Santa Barbara County line. By this time, the majority of the 1,330 structures impacted already had been. A few days later, the fire used a new round of overnight wind gusts to make a big run on the morning of Sunday Dec 9th, establishing itself above Carpinteria and Montecito. The following Saturday another round of morning winds forced the fire down into the fringe of Montecito, forcing a wall of engines into a several hour battle to push stall its progress. Luckily, by this time over 8,000 firefighters were assigned to the fire, and up to the task of suppression the big morning run. Thanks to their efforts, of the reported 1,300 homes threatened on Dec 16th, only 15 or so were impacted.

thomas progression

Thomas Fire’s progression from Dec 4th (green) through Dec 22nd (red)

Since that push, the fire’s progress has stalled and containment has increased to 65%. Still over the last 17 days, the fire is only 500 acres shy of topping the Cedar Fire for largest in California history. A burn operation is expected to add the acres needed with a few thousand more before all is said and done. Luckily, the firefighters necessary to see the fire out have been halved since the peak last week, but the suppression costs could eclipse last summer’s costly Soberanes fire in well short of the time. The full containment of the historic fire is not expected until after 2018 has begun.

Thomas Fire Major Developments:

  • Yesterday’s wind event produced 50 mph gusts, but fire activity remained minimal.
  • The firing operation was stalled yesterday due to high humidity and some snowfall. It was able to continue in the afternoon, and further firing is planned today for the Rose Valley area.
  • The fire area effectively endured two straight weeks of high to extreme fire weather conditions. Over that period, RH dropped as low as 3-5% and wind speeds were recorded over 60mph.
  • The fire is 500+ acres shy of passing 2003’s Cedar Fire for largest (in terms of acreage burned) in recorded California history.
  • Total fire suppression costs have ballooned to $170 million in just 17 days. It took last year’s Soberanes Fire twelve weeks to cost its total of $236 million.
top ten acres burned

Thomas Fire is 2nd all time in California’s history for acreage burned, but not for long.

Thomas Fire Facts:

  • Location: Fillmore all the way to Santa Barbara, both Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties
  • Size: 272,800 acres (as of 1/3/18 – 281,893)
  • Containment: 65% (as of 1/3/18 – 92%)
  • Fire Behavior: Light fire behavior with interior burning on the northern portions of the fire
  • 1,063 structures have been destroyed and 267 more have been damaged.
  • 18,000 Structures remain threatened.
  • All Mandatory Evacuations have been lifted.
top four ca fires

California’s four largest fires in history (update 01/03/18 : Thomas is now number 1)



CalFire Incident Page


Wikipedia – List of California Wildfires

Napa Sonoma Fires

As the Napa and Sonoma Fires Unfolded


Santa Rosa Neighborhood damaged

A fallen flag re-hung the day after the fires burned through the neighborhoods of NE Santa Rosa

1130 Oct 8

For me, it was a typical Fall Sunday in America; highlighted by a one-year old’s birthday party and a big Packer win over the Cowboys. My arrival at home didn’t come until after 10 o’clock, in this case maybe fortunately, and the nightly peek at my work emails even later than that. On a typical Sunday night, my inbox might have some evening updates on fires or new reports of small, irrelevant starts. In this case, by 1130pm I already had twelve IPN emails and loads of tweets warning of the multiple starts. I was alarmed to see troubling terms like “high winds”, “evacuations”, and even “structure involvement” were being used for fires across multiple Northern California counties. I immediately flashed back to Gatlinburg TN, where lives and property were tragically lost in the middle of the night less than a year ago. I sprung into action, turning on fire radio and attempting to figure out exactly where all this activity fell on our map. For the first time in my five years with RedZone, I was headed to the office in the middle of the night to get a headstart on what was surely going to be a long couple days ahead dealing with the Napa Sonoma Fires.

0400 Oct 9

Not long after my colleague and I arrived, we knew what were hearing was really bad news. By 4 am we had about a dozen new large wildfire starts on our radar. Winds howling north of 50 mph were sending extreme fire behavior through the dry grass and oak terrain of several northern counties.  Butte had fires. Clearlake had a fire. Mendocino had fire. Sonoma had multiple fires. Napa was on fire. What’s worse, is, not only is it just wildfire chaos but it’s in the middle of the night. Due to strained resources and limited air reinforcements, fire crews focused all their energy on life-saving and evacuation activities rather than attempt any form of structure protection. As the morning wore on, the true impact to life and property was apparent as radio traffic was overwhelmed with calls of residents entrapped and flooded with eerily streamlined reports of structures ablaze. It was one of the worst things I’ve witnessed unfold, as I knew in my heart not everyone would get out alive.

1800 Oct 9

We spent a good part of late summer watching three major hurricanes devastate areas like Houston, Key West, and Puerto Rico. Something about this just seemed worse, probably the lack of warning and widespread destruction. By the time most of the country woke up, the Tubbs and Atlas Fires had already force-evacuated thousands leaving destroyed homes and commercial properties in its wake. In Santa Rosa, the fire actually crossed the 101 Highway through town. In Napa, a number of iconic wineries and high dollar properties were already devastated by the firestorm. What we saw was the result of a recipe for disaster. High winds with dry fuels and low RH; despite last winter’s drought-relieving rains, the excess fine fuels were ripe for the taking. The multiple starts knocked out cell towers and power across the area. Even as the day wore on and more and more resources arrived, all they could do was focus on evacuations, life-saving, and structure protection as the fires continued to burn uncontrolled.

napa sonoma fire progression

Napa Sonoma Fires progression from green on Oct 9 to dark red on Oct 18th

What is a Fire-Use Wildfire and How is it Beneficial to Forests?

Not every naturally occurring wildland fire is actively suppressed. Naturally occurring wildland fires are normally caused by lightening strikes in areas with fallen trees and other dry accumulated fuels. Under certain circumstances, some wildland fires will be allowed to actively burn in order to help clear these fuels and promote forest health. When a wildland fire is allowed to burn within a pre-defined area to achieve a resource or protection objective it is referred to as a Fire-Use Wildfire. A fire-use fire is different from a prescribed fire in which firefighters intentionally set fires to achieve similar objectives. In addition, federally mandated guidelines state that every human-caused wildland fire will be suppressed and will not be managed for resource benefits. Additionally, once a wildland fire has been managed for suppression objectives, it may never be managed for resource benefit objectives. In other words, a wildland fire must either be suppressed or used for a resource/protection objective but not both.

The Departments of Interior and Agriculture, together with tribal governments, state governments, and local jurisdictions, have the responsibility for protection and management of natural resources on public and Indian Trust lands in the United States. A wildland use fire is one option available to Federal agencies that have an approved land use plan and need to achieve a resource or protection objective. Contributing factors that help steer a fire managers decision-making process are often incident specific. Location, available resources, predicted weather, topography, air quality, and predicted fire behavior are all factors that contribute to fire management decisions.

If a fire is located in remote, steep, rugged or highly inaccessible terrain and people are not threatened, managing the fire as a wildland use fire to meet a protection objective may be more appropriate and can help avoid putting firefighters in unnecessary danger. A wildland use fire can meet resource objectives like helping to maintain healthy forests by supporting a diverse ecosystem. Some wild plants and trees even need fire in order for their seeds to germinate. A carefully monitored wildland use fire can also help reduce naturally occurring fuels accumulation, which could lead to an even bigger wildfire if left unchecked.

Current Large Fire-Use Wildfires

Empire Fire – Yosemite National Park – 1,797 acres

Empire Fire-use Fire Near Yosemite

The Empire Fire burning near Yosemite National Park was caused by lightening and is being managed to promote the health of the ecosystem and protective objectives.

Young Fire – Six Rivers NF & Siskiyou Wilderness – 2,200 acres






helo wildfire

Mias Fire Burns 540 Acres in Riverside County

UPDATE 8/20/17 @ 4:49 p.m. – The fire is now 100% contained at 545 acres.
UPDATE 8/19/17 @ 6:47 p.m. – The fire remains 545 acres and is now 98% contained.
UPDATE 8/18/17 @ 6:05 p.m. – The fire remains at 545 acres and is now 97% contained.
UPDATE 8/18/18 @ 8:22 a.m. – The fire remains 545 acres and is now 95% contained.
UPDATE 8/17/17 @ 6:40 p.m. – The fire remains 545 acres and is now 90% contained.
UPDATE 8/17/17 @ 7:45 a.m. – The fire remains 545 acres and is 85% contained.
UPDATE 8/16/17 @ 5:45 p.m. – The fire is 545 acres and 80% contained.
UPDATE 8/16/17 @ 7:45 a.m. – The fire remains at 540 acres and is now 50% contained.
UPDATE 8/15/17 @ 7:28 p.m. – The fire is 40% contained and remains 540 acres.

Mias Fire Summary

The Mias fire was reported around 3:45 pm on Monday, August 14th near the 10000 block of Mias Canyon Rd in Banning, California. Due to the abundance of medium and heavy vegetation in the area, the fire quickly spread to the southeast towards the Morongo Indian Reservation. By 4:45 pm the fire had already burned 50 acres but was not immediately threatening any homes or structures in the area. By Monday night the fire had grown to 540 acres and had destroyed a small chapel on a private ranch. Firefighters from Riverside County, the Mongo Fire Department, and the U.S. Forest Service were coordinating efforts to combat the blaze. In total, 278 ground personnel, seven fixed-wing aircraft, three water-helo’s, and three bulldozers were assigned to the Mias fire and had achieved 5% containment by 7:30 pm Monday night. Investigators determined that the fire, bizarrely started when a tree branch fell onto a power line. The branch was weakened due to an active bee hive that was inside of the tree.

Mias Fire RZDashboard

Quick Look at the Mias Fire in RedZone’s Dashboard

Mias Fire Outlook

Due to the fire’s location, smoke impacts will affect the local area and move into Coachella Valley through tomorrow morning. The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory for the unhealthy air quality expected. Otherwise, fire officials are fairly confident that the fire will be fully contained by Thursday with small areas still burning today and crews in mop up and contain mode for the remainder of the fire’s tenure.

Mias Fire Facts


Sources: Riverside County Fire, CALFIRE incidents, KESQ

detwiler thumbnail

Detwiler Fire Scorches Over 80,000 Acres

Detwiler Fire Summary

The Detwiler fire started in the afternoon of July 16th along Detwiler Rd and Hunters Valley Rd, approximately two miles southeast of Lake McClure in California. The fire quickly spread to the southeast due to ample fuel and steep terrain and was an immediate threat to nearby structures. Mandatory evacuation orders were quickly issued for all homes along Detwiler Road, Hunters Valley Road, and Hunters Valley Access Road. Just 24 hours later, the fire had grown to 11,000 acres and by 18 July the fire jumped the Merced River. By 23 July the Detwiler fire had grown to 76,000 acres. Sixty-three single-family residences had been destroyed, with 13 damaged. One commercial structure had been lost with 67 minor structures having been destroyed, and 8 damaged. The losses dwarfed those of the Whittier and Brianhead Fires previously covered this summer by RedZone. As of 28 July the fire is estimated to have burned 81,650 acres but firefighters have worked hard to achieve 75% containment. No additional homes or structures have been lost or damaged. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Detwiler Fire NASA Photo

NASA’s view from space of the Detwiler Fire on July 19th, 2017

Detwiler Fire Outlook

There are currently 3,553 personnel assigned to the Detwiler fire including 246 engines, 47 water tenders, 96 hand crews, and 28 dozers. Numerous helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are also working the incident. Ground crews worked through the night to build and reinforce containment lines, including the 100-acre spot fire that broke out yesterday afternoon in the Hunters Valley area. Hot and dry conditions are expected throughout the next few days as air and ground resources continue to put out hot spots and watch for flare-ups. Steep, rugged terrain makes access difficult in some areas, but firefighters are making good progress.

Detwiler Fire Progression

Infrared Perimeter Progression of the Detwiler Fire from July 18-25

Detwiler Fire Facts

Sources: Inciweb, NIFC, MyMotherLode.com

whittier fire smoke

Whittier Fire Prompts Evacuations in Santa Barbara County

Whittier Fire Summary

The Whittier Fire is suspected to have been sparked by an emergency vehicle accident around 1:30 pm Saturday afternoon and quickly spread to vegetation in the middle of the weekend’s red flag warning conditions. Officials stated that temperatures were over 110 degrees at the origin of the fire and within 2 hours the fire had spread to both sides of Highway 154 forcing the closure of the highway and evacuation of area camp grounds. Early on, Whittier Camp was evacuated and it was learned that the nearby Circle V Camp had dozens of children present. That camp was immediately threatened with no transportation for a safe evacuation as their escape route was cut off by the growing fire. In a press briefing today (7/14), several emergency responders shared the harrowing details of the evacuation of the Circle V Camp. The story describes how one Forest Service patrol and one dozer amazingly made it to the 80 camp counselors and children. The heroes assured them that they were safe while helping coordinate their evacuation to safety. A video was also released showing a sheriff’s deputy forced into turning around due to fire activity up the road. A timeline of the events can also be seen here.

whittier fire progression map

Whittier Fire Progression between July 8th and 14th. Now over 13,000 acres.

Whittier Fire Outlook

As you can see from the Santa Ynez Peak webcam below, fire activity has increased significantly today with the return of high pressure. The system is set to bring increased fire activity through Sunday. As the fire has grown this afternoon, the IMT is particularly worried about forecasted gusts of 25-30 mph through passes and gaps in the vicinity of the fire. As a contingency plan, ranch roads, dozer lines, and hand lines have been built and improved upon over the last couple operational periods. The idea here is to create large buffers between Goleta-area homes and the fire area due to the potential for the currently ongoing sundowner winds. Nonetheless, additional Evacuations have been ordered in the last three hours. Reports have significant activity occurring on both east and west sides of the fire, and especially to the south as the fire is headed in three different directions. The fire is actually approaching last year’s Sherpa Fire burn scar near Goleta.

Whittier Fire Evacuations

  • All of Winchester Canyon Road excluding the community of Wagon Wheel, Langlo Ranch Road and Winchester Commons west to El Capitan Ranch Road.
  • Calle Real north to West Camino Cielo from Winchester Canyon Rd on the east to El Capitan Ranch Road on the west.
  • Paradise Road
  • Rosario Park and all of Stagecoach Road
  • Farren Road and Las Varas Canyon Road
Santa Ynez Peak Cam

View looking West from Santa Ynez Peak Cam Friday Afternoon (July 14th)

Whittier Fire Facts

  • As of: July 14th, 2017
  • Location: Lake Cuchuma, Santa Barbara County, CA
  • Size: 13,199 acres
  • Containment: 52%
  • Fire Behavior: Rapid fire spread through thick brush and timber in steep, rugged terrain.
  • Structures Threatened: 1500 (reported)
  • Structures Destroyed: Eight homes and 12 outbuildings have been destroyed
  • Evacuations: Are in still in place
  • Incident Page: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5339/
  • News Article: KEYT Santa Barbara

Sources: Inciweb, KEYT, Los Padres National Forest, http://www.rntl.net/santabarbaracountyfirecams.htm

Brian Head 4-day Fire Progression

‘Extreme’ Brian Head Fire Destroys 13 Homes

Brian Head Fire Summary

The Brian Head fire started around noon on Saturday, June 17th along State Road 143, north of the Utah resort town of Brian Head. RedZone first learned of the fire at 50 acres with evacuations reported on the north and northeast ends of town. Multiple pictures surfaced that afternoon as the fire grew to 500 acres and dangerously close to town, eventually prompting an expanded evacuation of the entire town around 3pm. A type 3 team assumed command of the fire Saturday evening and gave way to the Great Basin Type 2 Incident Management Team 4 (Roide) at 6 AM, Monday, June 19. Roide’s team has had command ever since. Due to the evacuation situation, remote location, and lack of radio traffic, the extent of Saturday and Sunday’s fire growth wasn’t known until the first official perimeter came out Monday morning. That perimeter, shown in yellow in the map below, first put the fire at 957 acres, having also burned four homes in north Brian Head during those first 36 hours.

Brian Head 4-day Fire Progression

Brian Head Fire Progression Map (Operational Periods of 6/19 to 6/22)

As strong high pressure moved into the area early in the week, the fire picked up steam on the north side and ran north and east growing quickly through dense timber. The Brian Head fire nearly tripled in size each day starting Monday recording roughly 2700 acres Tuesday, 10,000+ acres Wednesday, and over 27,000 acres this morning (6/23). During yesterday’s 17,000-acre run, more structures were lost and much of the Panguitch Lake area along the eastern portion of SR 143 was added to the growing mandatory evacuation list. Prevailing winds were pushing the fire north and east until late in the afternoon on Wednesday when winds shifted the fire in a new, southeasterly direction. Clear Creek and Horse Valley were impacted and nine additional residences and six outbuildings were lost. This brings the total number of structures lost to 13 residences and eight outbuildings.

Brian Head Fire IR Map

Thursday Morning’s IR Map from the Brian Head Fire

Brian Head Fire Outlook

Containment is still only 5% with red flag conditions continuing again today and is forecast again tomorrow. Fire officials are projected 2-3 miles of more growth to the southeast and northward down SR 143. Weather concerns are abundant as dry conditions are forecast to continue through Sunday with ongoing well above normal temperatures, low RH, and very unstable atmospheric conditions. There are 11 helicopters, 34 engines, and 23 crews for a total of 809 firefighters on scene. Full containment is not expected until July 5th.

Brian Head Fire Facts

  • As of: June 23rd, 2017
  • Location: Brian Head, UT
  • Size: 27,744 acres
  • Containment: 5%
  • Fire Behavior: Extreme fire spread with spotting and dangerous rate.
  • Structures Threatened: Yes
  • Structures Destroyed: 13 residences and eight outbuildings
  • Evacuations: All of Brian Head, UT. Horse Valley, Clear Creek, Beaver Dam, Blue Springs, Panguitch Lake Campgrounds, Mammoth Springs Campground, Rainbow Meadows, and Mammoth Creek.
  • Incident Page: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5253/
  • News Article: Desert News Utah

Sources: Inciweb, Desert News Utah, Utah Fire Info, NIFC


Aerial photo over Kynsna area (Source: South African Red Cross)

Wildfires Rage Across South Africa’s Cape After Massive Winter Storm

Hundreds are left homeless and thousands remain evacuated after the strongest winter storm in decades assaulted Cape Town, South Africa, and continued across the southern region of South Africa known as the Western Cape. Numerous lightning strikes associated with the massive storm ignited wildfires that raged across hillsides, fueled by gusting and strong winds, even as nearby areas began to flood and were drenched by rain. Tuesday evening, June 6th, the storm began to impact the Western Cape. By Wednesday, thousands of residents along the major roadway N2, famously known as the “Garden Route”, were evacuated as wildfires blazed toward nearby neighborhoods. As of June 8th, 4pm PDT, nine deaths are attributed to the storm, home collapses, and wildfires.

Storm Impact & Wildfires in Area around Cape Town and Knysna (Source: Google Earth)

Storm & Wildfire Impacted Area around Cape Town and Knysna (Source: Google Earth)

Current Situation

The local media is referring to this as the “mother of all storms”. A compounding factor to the devastating impact to the region is the already poor housing covering much of the area. Shanty towns burn quickly and can also collapse simply due to the strength of the winds. Flood waters also washed away several communities due to non-permanent construction. Part of the evacuation process included a local hospital in Knysna had to move all personnel and patients due to the approaching wildfires. The rain now falling on the Knysna area will assist firefighting efforts to get the wildfires under control; however, the additional rains will increase the possibilities for mudslides in the area.

Activity of Wildfires in last 48 hours, centered on Knysna (Source: Advanced Fire Information System Viewer – AFIS)

Wildfire activity in last 48 hours, centered on Knysna (Source: Advanced Fire Information System Viewer – AFIS)

Recovery & Outlook

So far, reports indicate more than 150 structures were destroyed throughout 20 suburbs. Cape Town, fortunately, has restored approximately 90% of its power. Across the impacted area, staff are opening shelters and resource centers to assist those displaced. The rains received may help with a fraction of the drought situation, but Level 3 water restrictions remain in place. Wetting rains over a longer duration are needed to truly have an impact. Local volunteers are collecting donations of items such as food, water, blankets, and other basic necessities for those affected by this disaster.

Aerial photo over Kynsna area of wildfires (Source: South African Red Cross)

Aerial photo over Kynsna area (Source: South African Red Cross)

Read further

Live update stream: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/live-knysna-evacuation-underway-20170607