Fires near Barkly East un­der con­trol

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Athena O’Reilly

THE Joe Gqabi district mu­nic­i­pal­ity was still bat­tling fires yes­ter­day af­ter the blazes gut­ted more than 40 000 hectares of land since Sun­day.

The fires con­tin­ued to flare up and re­quired con­stant mon­i­tor­ing as most of the flare-ups were caused by roots burn­ing.

The Barkly East Fire Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion said the fires‚ which had started on Sun­day in the Lady Grey area‚ had spread south over the Wit­te­berg Moun­tain to­wards Barkly East.

By lunchtime the fires had been con­tained and were un­der con­trol.

The area was in the red in the fire dan­ger index‚ which is the most dan­ger­ous band‚ as a re­sult of very dry and windy con­di­tions.

The fires have hit at least 24 farms, of which about 12 are to­tally burnt‚ re­sult­ing in there be­ing no graz­ing land.

No build­ings were af­fected, but the economic loss is es­ti­mated at R6.4-mil­lion.

DEV­AS­TAT­ING BLAZE: More than 40 000ha of land and farms have been de­stroyed by fire in the Barkly East area

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