SA experienced almost 100 fires in December
Working on Fire‚ the National Department of Environmental Affairs’ programme to help fight veld and forest fires‚ has had its hands full over the past two months fighting multiple fires across the country.
Some 99 fires were experienced throughout the country during December‚ with a total loss of 39‚000ha and fifty-two teams – 1‚300 fire fighters – having to be deployed to fight the fires.
“Our fire fighters continue to remain on high alert and a national deployment team of fire fighters are ready to be dispatched to the Western Cape and other hotspot areas throughout the country‚” Working on Fire said on Tuesday.
Since December in the Western Cape alone‚ just under 800 fire fighters have provided fire suppression services to fire authorities in battling more than 70 “intense” veld fires throughout the province‚ it said.
In addition‚ eight helicopters‚ four fixed-wing spotter planes and four fixed-wing water bombers have been used in helping to fight fires in the province during the past few days.
“In the Peninsula fires‚ fire fighters from Working on Fire had barely finished extinguishing a fire on De Waal Drive in Cape Town‚ when more resources had to be dispatched to the Red Hill/ Scarborough fire.”
As a result of the current drought experienced throughout the country coupled with high temperatures‚ the Free State had experienced 35 fires during December and a loss of 23‚000ha in contrast to no fires in December 2014‚ Working on Fire said.
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