AfriForum warns against extreme fire danger conditions; shares safety tips for veldfires

AfriForum warns against a high fire danger in the northern part of the country which is now in its dry season. Provinces affected are Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. This is due to the high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds that are predicted for the coming weeks up to and including the first good rainfall. Due to the high fire danger, wildfires are a common phenomenon that results in losses of thousands of hectares of pasture and economic damage for farmers.

AfriForum has compiled a summarizing guide on how to be ready when your immediate surroundings are ravaged by a veldfire. This includes, among other things, how to take precautions as well as your survival during and after a veldfire.

“Since the fire danger is high and the grass is dry, fires spread very quickly and the veldfire’s heat is very hot. The leading edge of a fire’s progress can exceed 4 km/h and the flame lengths can be between 5 and 15 meters high. This can result in loss of property and even cause the death of people and animals, as veldfires are dangerous and unpredictable. More must therefore be done to make every South African aware of the danger of veldfires,” says Tarien Cooks, Disaster Management Specialist for AfriForum.

According to AfriForum, there are particularly big challenges with veldfires in rural communities. A new trend that is emerging is that of hunters starting a veldfire to lead animals in a certain direction. Dogs are then released to chase these animals in the specific direction, which makes it easier for hunters to hunt the animal. Another cause of veldfires also includes ash pits in which garbage is burned, while other causes can even be malicious.

  • Click here for the full guide.

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