President Jacob Zuma and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on Thursday interacted with Knysna residents who were affected by devastating fires last week.

According to Zille’s office‚ about 10 000 people were evacuated as fires — fanned by gale force winds — tore through the area.

Several people lost their lives.

On Wednesday the Western Cape cabinet announced that it would direct R75-million to address the damage in Knysna and surrounding areas.