Fire season on its way

Leoni Kruger
LEPHALALE — Mogol Post asked Fire Emergency Risk Management Manager at Medupi, Nic du Toit, whether they expect more fires for the coming fire season due to the drought and what the procedures are when making a fire for whatever reason.
During the periods of high and extreme fire danger, a total ban on all open fires will be implemented in accordance with the NVFFA (National Veld Forest Fire Act). This will apply in all areas, excluding residential areas.
• Welding and grinding in the open air must be avoided.
• Functionality of the fire equipment must be re-checked, and land-owners and workers must be in a state of readiness for firefighting.
These rules are supplementary to the legal requirements as set out in the National Veld and Forest Fire Act, and must be read in conjunction with the Act.
Chapter 4 of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act.
Regarding the width and positioning of fire breaks:
• Each landowner must prepare a firebreak of a minimum width of 2.5 meter on his or her side of the boundary.
• Internal firebreaks must divide the farm into areas of approximately 500 ha.
• These firebreaks must be a minimum of 2.5 meter wide.
• Boundary firebreaks can be made away from the common boundary for the following reasons, for example: to protect the environment by utilizing natural firebreaks (rivers, ridges etc.), and infra-structural firebreaks (roads, railway-lines etc.), and to allow for making of fire breaks in mountainous areas.
Fire breaks must be completed by 30th June every year.
General rules regarding the use of fire:
• Ensure total compliance with all the requirements of obtaining permission to burn, and all the requirements of informing all the relevant parties.
• Report all fires, unless you have first-hand information that the fire is a controlled burn.
• Picnic and camp fires: light only in permanently constructed fireplaces that is clear of all combustible material for a distance of at least two meter. Do not leave fire unattended until entirely extinguished.
Du Toit has agreed to provide short training courses in firefighting and first aid to the respective rural wards.
Bookings can be made via the Fire Protection Association. Contact Sandra on 014 763 1888 or 082 302 3772 or agrilephalale@vodamail.co.za for more information.

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