Various fire departments are on scene at the Woodchip mill in Richards Bay PHOTO: Dave Savides

The NCT woodchip mill in Richards Bay says it is exhausting all efforts to contain the fire which has been raging on since yesterday (Saturday) afternoon and the safety of surrounding communities is top priority.

Richards Bay fire - Figure 1
Photo Barberton Times

The company’s General Manager, Danny Knoesen said they have called in all firefighting resources from across the province amid hopes to contain the fire soon.

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“Our staff immediately attended to the fire, but due to gale force winds and hot weather conditions the fire spread quickly.

“We made every attempt to call in air support, but the conditions were too dangerous. Our firefighting team on the ground made every effort to subdue the fire throughout the day and night.

“We are grateful for the support we received from the Municipality and other organisations, but the weather conditions have not been in our favour and the fire continues,” said Knoesen.

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He said the cause of the fire is yet to be investigated.

“We have not been able to determine how the fire started or where it came from originally, but we will investigate the matter once it is safe to do so.

“We urge our community to stay safe and support us in our efforts to bring this tragic incident to a close,” he said.