A blaze that destroyed more than 12 houses has by this morning been brought under control following a resurgence on Saturday night.
A total of 12 houses burned to the ground, and another 34 structures were badly damaged when a veld fire, fuelled by strong winds, jumped the R71 into adjacent streets yesterday.
The number of damaged properties was this morning confirmed by Anton Kellerman, the head of the Phalaborwa Community Policing Forum.
He added that the fire, that resurged last night, was this morning brought under control and that relief efforts have been put in place to assist those whose properties were damaged.
On Sunday morning, Deidre Carter from Agri Limpopo confirmed that strong winds throughout the night saw the fire pick up again.
The towns of Hoedspruit (Farm Watch and Town Watch) and Tzaneen (churches and local charity organisations) are among the many institutions sending care packages and necessities to their neighbouring town today.
On Saturday evening, the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality in a statement said it was working closely with the Mopani District Municipality’s fire and rescue services to control the fire that engulfed several houses on the outskirts of town.
“The Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality is devastated by the fire that has engulfed more than seven houses in Phalaborwa this afternoon. While the cause of the fire is unknown, bushfires are suspected to have been the cause and no injuries have been reported.”
Phalaborwa Mayor Merriam Malatji was scheduled to meet with Mopani Mayor, Pule Shayi to map the way forward in assisting affected families, their statement reads.
Sybrandt van Niekerk from the DA in Phalaborwa confirmed that rescue efforts that were sourced include that of LFPA helicopters and the fire-fighting teams of Foskor, PMC, SANDF (Hoedspruit) and Mopani Fire-fighting Services.
“Guest houses have offered their services free of charge for those whose houses were destroyed in the fire. This really is an effort everyone is involved in,” he remarked.
Several volunteers have on social media published arrangements for clothes, food and parcels to be dropped off in an effort to assist those who were affected.