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An intense winter storm and severe drought experienced in the Western Cape resulted in devastating fires ravaging parts of the Southern Cape Area with Knysna being the worst effected. As of the 7 June 2017 till today fires are still burning in this part of the world. The call for assistance for radio amateurs to assist came on the 8 June 2017 when cellphone, Internet and landline telephones went down in many areas. The following radio amateurs responded and reported to the AREDN: Mossel Bay Mesh Network: ZS2I, ZS1Q, ZS1ZS, ZS1HB, ZR1AOC and ZS1I. An AREN and Amateur Radio JOC was established on the mesh network. Messages were relayed on HF, VHF/UHF and the AREDN: Mossel Bay Mesh Network Group. The above radio amateurs worked around the clock to assist their respected local communities. Amateur Disaster Communications links remained active until normal communications were restored. The AREN and JOC was relinquished on the 11 June 2017 but we still remain on high alert. The disaster aftermath continues with 7 deaths, 439 houses destroyed and thousands of displaced survivors. Disaster Relief continue unabated. Amateur Radio once again showed that when all else fails amateur radio will not fail.
J. Terblanche ZS1I
AREDN: Mossel Bay Mesh Network