Yesterday the municipality’s Fire and Rescue Services released the fire report detailing the extent of the damage. The report found that the fire was started by burning pine cones in a clearing on private land in the Elandskraal area. It is unclear whether the fire was started deliberately only that “human activity” was to blame.
The Chief of Fire and Rescue in Knysna, Clinton Manuel, said the investigation started on June 8, a day after three fires broke out in Knysna. “Using the scientific method while investigating the fire I came up with two hypotheses. The first one is based on the fostering part that the fire started in the Non V area (Which refers to the shape in which the fire was burnt) and that the fire was caused by lightning on April 12. This forms the basis of hypothesis one.
“Hypothesis two is that the fire originated in the V pattern area in the Elandskraal area (the fire spread in a distinctive pattern) and is probably man made and not an act of God,” Manuel said.
He also said the wind played a huge role in the spreading of the fire. “What we know about wildfires is that it first ignites light fuel and then spreads to heavy fuels. What we also know is that the fires also form a distinctive V pattern, we also know heavy fuels were found in the clearing.”