Talk of the Town
Ndlambe prepared for the fire season
Ndlambe Fire and Emergency Services manager, Mervyn Sauls, says their teams are wellprepared as Ndlambe’s fire season starts.
“Operational staff receive lectures on firefighting techniques and tools.
“Fire service vehicles are maintained for effective and immediate response and all fire service personnel are fully trained in their fire fighting capacity,” Sauls told Talk of the Town.
“Fire pumps and fittings are checked for operational effectiveness with every shift change, burn permits are issued and controlled by the fire service for vegetation fires, especially in rural areas and farms,” he said.
Sauls said the fire services were also prepared when it came to preventing fires in Ndlambe’s built-up areas.
“We’ve got continuous fire prevention inspections that are conducted in the industry sector, especially commercial premises, for compliance and safety of the public and there are continuous fire hydrant inspections being done throughout the Ndlambe municipal area,” he said.
Sauls said the Working on Fire firefighters had been on refresher training in Tsitsikamma in preparation for the fire season.
“A firefighter transport vehicle is secured to take the Working on Fire team to vegetation fires as reported by the community,” he said.
Ndlambe Fire and Emergency Service’s state of preparedness follows the Sarah Baartman District Municipality and Eastern Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre’s fire prohibition period notice.
The notice sets out conditions for burning or open fires during the veld fire season, in regard to the drought conditions in the province.
For Ndlambe Municipality, the prohibition period is from November 1 until February 28 2023. According to the notice, burning will be allowed under the following strict conditions:
The local municipalities’ chief fire officers must approve all burning operations according to their respective burning permit systems.
In the absence of a chief fire officer, the fire protection officer of the local fire protection association must approve all burning operations according to their permit system and community safety bylaws.
Landowners must apply a minimum of seven days before burning for preapproval, as well as for final approval on the day.
All bordering landowners must be informed of burning operations in terms of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (Act 101 of 1998) (NVFFA).
The NVFFA places a duty on all landowners to have all precautions in place to prevent a fire from spreading or causing damage.
Safety tips for residents from Ndlambe fire chief Sauls:
● Do not make a fire if you can’t control it. As per the fire safety bylaw, any fire larger than a braai fire requires a burn permit that can be obtained from the Fire Service Section in Bathurst Street, Port Alfred.
● Report fires immediately to the fire service, so that it can respond immediately, on 046-624-1111.
● Ensure that vegetation in your yard does not pose a fire threat to your neighbour.
● Make sure that if you have a thatch roof house that it is treated with fire retardant to prevent fire spread.
● Dump rubbish from yard cleaning at the refuse sites and not on vacant lands and pavements.
● Slashed vegetation like tree branches need to be removed after slashing and not left on the premises.
Dry vegetation is a fire threat for you and your neighbours.
● Clean your gutters regularly as dry leaves that accumulate can spread a fire in the vicinity to your home. It will also help with summer rain flooding.
● Teach children not to play with matches or fire.
A small fire can result in your house and your neighbours’ homes burning down.
● Do not leave pots on the stove unattended. This is one of the causes of house fires in our area.
During the fire season, residents are urged to be extremely vigilant and to report any fires on 046-624-1111.