New fire safety warning

The start of the winter fire season is officially declared on 1 June every year and there has already been a number of fires in the areas surrounding Randfontein.

Residents should take precautions to prevent more fires during the season, warned Working on Fire.

According to Parapara Makgahlela, provincial spokesperson for Working on Fire, people need to be more vigilant during this season and should not start unnecessary open fires especially on dry and windy days.

“They should also remove unnecessary rubble from their properties as it can pose a serious fire risk. Houses which are next to grasslands need to have sufficient fire breaks between them and the open ground to stop fires from spreading.”

The Department of Environmental Affairs’ Working on Fire has 17 bases with 348 professionally trained firefighters across Gauteng on standby to assist communities, landowners, and farmers to reduce the economic harm caused by unwanted wildfires. They have one fire truck, five truck buses, five strike units and six bakkies to operate during the fire season.

Gauteng recorded 447 fires and 102 546 of hectares of land burned in the previous fire season.

“We do expect a very difficult winter fire season, but we firmly believe that through our partnerships with Provincial Disaster Management Centres, Fire Protection Associations, SANParks, various private and public landowners and local municipalities, we will be able to respond quickly,” Makgahlela added.

People must also have the correct contact details of their local fire authorities at hand in the case of a fire emergency.

• Source: Working on Fire

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