Are You Prepared For The Fire Season?
By Henrietta Brock
The climate change trend for the Overberg is a shift towards higher overall temperatures coupled with rainfall later in winter and spring. This produces quicker and denser plant growth and with that a higher risk for veld fires.
Going into the summer fire season one must therefore be particularly cautious to avoid starting runaway fires. Be careful with your braai fires, don’t burn garden and household rubbish, and please don’t throw cigarettes out of car windows or into grass and bushes.
South African law obliges landowners to do everything in their power to prevent and suppress wildfires. This includes reporting fires to the fire brigade.
Please report all fires to 028 425 1690 (Overstrand Municipality 028 312 2400).
What else can landowners do? Keep a telephone list of emergency services and neighbours on the fridge and in your cell phone. Remove burnable material from around all buildings including workers’ and holiday houses. Make sure that fire extinguishers are in easily accessible locations; have been serviced within the last year and not gone past their expiry date.
Check other firefighting equipment such as pumps and hoses (including water tanks, garden hoses and roof sprayers) to make sure that everything is in good working order. Maintain all machinery in good working order and restrict the use of some, such as chainsaws and grinders, on high risk days and keep them away from vegetation and flammable materials. Farmers should also be aware that high humidity and temperatures can promote spontaneous combustion in hay bales and compost.
The Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (GO FPA) also announced that the Hagelkraal FPA is deregistering to join the GO FPA. The entire Overberg District, except for the area around Napier, therefore now falls within the GO FPA.
The Greater Overberg FPA is also encouraging conservancies, conservation projects, home owners associations and other interested landowner groupings to join the FPA mailing list to keep up-to-date on FPA activities in their area.
For more information about the Greater Overberg FPA, visit www.overbergfpa.co.za.
For any enquiries or to be added to the mailing list, please contact their head office on firstname.lastname@example.org or 028 425 1690.