The fire season 2019 officially started on Saturday, 1 June 2019, and by 6 June, two small fires and two larger fires that needed aerial support, had already been reported.
The Mkhondo Fire Prevention Association gave the following 10 golden rules to adhere to, in regard to fires in the Fire Season 2019:
- Make affective fire-breaks on your property borders. – This protects your property and prevents a fire from spreading to neighbouring properties.
- Warn your neighbours if you plan to make fire-breaks. – Use a written notice to inform neighbours of your intentions.
- Plan your fire-break programme with your neighbours. – Get your neighbours’s approval for your plan of action. Should neighbours find it impossible to come to an agreement, provision is made that the local magistrate may act as arbiter. His ruling will then be binding to all landowners.
- Insist on your neighbours’s presence when fire-breaks on the boundary belts are being made. – This will ensure that all parties take responsibility. Should the fire occur on a property, and it is suspected of posing a threat to man, animal or property, any person may enter the property and apply the necessary reasonable measures to prevent the fire from spreading, or to extinguish the fire.
- Ensure that weather conditions are acceptable for burning fire-breaks. – You should consider burning fires at night when weather conditions are usually favourable for burning. Check the Fire Danger Rating and Regulations for your region.
- Burn fire-breaks early. – Burning restrictions are enforced in certain regions, ensure that you’re aware of it.
- Don’t light fires in the open air if you cannot control it. – Ensure that you have enough help and equipment to cope with problems. Lighting a fire within a road reserve, except in a fireplace built for that purpose, is also prohibited in terms of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act No. 101 of 1998.
- You are responsible for doing all you can to prevent a fire from spreading to neighbouring properties. – If a fire spreads it can cause extensive damage and the landowner from where it originates, can be held liable for damages.
- Don’t leave a fire unguarded/unattended before it is properly extinguished. – Unexpected winds can re-flame cinders.
- According to the National Veld and Forest Fire Act No. 101 of 1998, carelessness with fires is considered a criminal offence.
They strive to have a season without any serious incidents.
Make sure that you keep these ten rules in mind when you plan for the fire season, fires are unpredictable and can cause unnecessary danger. Be responsible, be safe!
The Mkhondo Fire Prevention Association would like to encourage the community to report all fires. MFPA emergency number: 082 569 9149.
Be cautious this Fire Season 2019
The Mkhondo Fire Prevention Association didn’t receive many reports on fires over the past few weeks.
Only a few of these needed aerial support, and the MFPA members are encouraging farmers to get their firebreaks done, since it is getting more dangerous to do so. The six main causes of veld and forest fires are:
- Reckless disposal of cigarette butts.
- Burning fires in metal drums at bus stops while waiting for the bus.
- Land clearings. Make sure the fire is completely extinguished before you leave.
- Deliberate fire setting.
- Children playing with matches.
- Improper disposal of household ash. Fires can be extremely dangerous, and being irresponsible can put someone’s life and property in jeopardy.
Please be safe this fire season, report fires to the MFPA on 082 569 9149.