Village Talk

KZN firefighte­rs battle 72 fires


Firefighte­rs from the Working on Fire (WOF) programme battled 72 veld and forest fires in August.

Acting general manager, Phumza Dyantyi, said: “August is one of the windiest months in the winter fire season and this could be seen with the number of fires, compared to July’s 48 fires.

“Twenty WOF teams were dispatched to assist in various fire-prone communitie­s.

“Some of the common causes of these fires are human negligence such as bee hunters, landowner’s and community members starting a fire without checking the fire danger index, lack of resources when starting fire breaks and leaving fires left unattended.”

Dyantyi said that before conducting a fire break safely, landowners need to obtain a permit from their Fire Protection Associatio­n to burn. This permit is dependent on the fire danger index for that specific day.

It is also important to ensure you have enough resources and to notify neighbouri­ng landowners.

“The winter fire season is not over yet. Over 700 WOF firefighte­rs, stationed at 34 bases, remain on high alert and will be ready to provide firefighti­ng services to landowners, nature reserves, plantation­s, and municipali­ties,” she added.

The Working on Fire programme falls under the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environmen­t.

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