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Knysna Fire: SanParks reports on progress made at Garden Route National Park


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Foll0wing the devastating fires that wreaked havoc in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in June this year, SanParks has issued a statement saying that progress has been made on Garden Route sections affected.

The largest part of the Garden Route National Park affected by the recent Knysna fires is in the Harkerville section, making up a portion of the Knysna forests and fynbos areas, the statement said.

Harkerville is an activity hub for nature and is known for its blue duiker population. Zoned off areas for tourism include hiking and world-famous cycling routes. All cycling routes are open and hiking routes except the 2-day Harkerville Coastal hiking route.

Status of activities in Harkerville

Kranshoek Picnic area

The picnic area is open for use however there are portable toilets for visitors to use after the fire burnt the old toilet block.
SANParks is fast-tracking the procurement process of new water tanks to provide drinking water by the 15th Dec 2017.
Kranshoek Trail

The Kranshoek Trail is still closed, and maintenance work is currently underway. About 90% of the route is complete and the rest should be open by end of this week Rebuilding and rehabilitating the route will probably continue until end of Dec 2017. The trail should be up and running by the end January 2018.

There is a clear sign at the entrance and parking area to inform the public of closure and maintenance of routes.

Kranshoek Viewpoint

Currently still closed and not accessible to visitors as yet until management and scientists have finalised urgent deliverables pertaining to the area.

Harkerville Trail

The coastal portion of the trail is still closed, however, an alternative scenic route was opened along the coastal ridge

Bookings for the trail will be open as of today, 20 November.

Additional efforts to assist the town of Knysna after the Knysna fires include post-fire assessments with Geographical Information System (GIS). This played an important role to determine high-risk areas in urgent need of immediate rehabilitation. GIS technology is used to capture, analyse and present digital geographic data.

A Garden Route Rebuild (GRR) structure made up of various partners was established. It is led by the Provincial Department of the Western Cape was formed to

High risk erosion sites were identified through field surveys and this process is ongoing
Erosion mitigation materials (sediment Retention Fibre Rolls and carpets) has been received from DEA (Department of Environmental Affairs). Training was completed for the installation of erosion mitigation materials
The installation erosion materials has commenced on high risk erosion areas
Invasive Alien Plant control in burnt scar can only commence after some regrowth – 3- 6 month window.
Project proposal for erosion mitigation and invasive alien plant management has been submitted to the National Disaster Management Committee for emergency funding.

Jeanette Briedenhann
Jeanette Phillips joined the team in 2016. She developed a passion and love for all things-travel related in her role as travel journalist, a position she held for over seven years. A brief exodus into the corporate marketing sphere proved that there is no better industry than the travel industry. Research and writing are two of Jeanette’s greatest passions, but she is always open to new challenges and different ways of doing things.

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