Working on Fire (WoF) firefighters in Mpumalanga were kept busy at the weekend, as 18 flames burnt in different parts of the province, largely in the province’s Highveld region.
Ermelo, Breyten and Piet Retief areas respectively. Three of these fires are presently ongoing in Dullstroom and Piet Retief, where about 30 WoF firefighters were working tirelessly in attempts to contain the flames.
“These fires mostly raged on privately owned land and it is therefore difficult to detail what could have been the cause,” said WoF provincial spokesperson Ms Lebogang Maseko.
“We are presently in talks with the landowners, not only to establish fire causes, but to offer rehabilitation and prevention measures,” said Ms Maseko.
In addition, WoF firefighters continue to work hand in glove with the Msukaligwa Fire and Rescue Service in Ermelo, to help minimise fire risks in the area.
“Our department, together with WoF firefighters, are having a challenging fire season, especially as we have entered the windy August season,” said Fire Chief, Mr Jaco Johnstone.
“We have however placed fire crews on high alert, and have optimised our response rate to fire call-outs,” he said.
Mr Johnstone said fire crews remain in the field to conduct mop-up operations and monitor possible flare-ups on the farm which experienced raging flames on Sunday afternoon.
He advised landowners and members of the public to keep a watch on the Fire Danger Index ratings as issued by the South African Weather Service.
Between June and July, WoF recorded 92 fires throughout the province, with an estimation of close to 4000 hectares of land destroyed.