Kouga Municipality has reminded residents and holiday-makers that the shooting off of flares is only permitted from vessels at sea in the event of an emergency.
The reminder follows on a Christmas day fire in the vicinity of the Gamtoos River Mouth, believed to have been started by a flare.
Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the Thornhill SAPS was investigating the cause of the fire, which threatened houses at Gamtoos Extension 2 before fire-fighters were able to divert the blaze towards the dunes and bushes.
She appealed to all residents and visitors to refrain from discharging flares, fireworks or Chinese lanterns anywhere in the Kouga region.
“Our area is very dry because of the ongoing drought. This means that there is a high risk of fires starting.
“We appeal to everyone to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in this regard. By working together we can prevent people from getting hurt or properties from being damaged,” she said.
The fire at the Gamtoos was reported at 4:45pm on Christmas day.
Kouga fire-fighters, assisted by farmers and teams from the Crossways development, battled throughout the night to contain the blaze, which was eventually extinguished at 10am the next morning (26 December).
The Mayor said only one Wendy house was damaged but that several hectares of veld were also destroyed, the full extent of which is still to be determined.
Kouga Municipality’s Fire and Emergency Services control room can be contacted on 042 291 0250 or 042 200 8330.