Harare, Zimbabwe — Two farm workers were seriously burnt by a huge veld fire, which also razed down pastures and vast forests at Watermount Estate, about 26-kilometres along the Harare-Mutoko Road on Wednesday afternoon.
The two — Mr Thomas Lunga — a tractor driver and his assistant Mr Charles Karombo are from the Pig Industry Board near Watermount Estate.
The pair was injured while trying to put out the fire, which had crossed onto the farm using a boom spray.
Mr Lunga sustained severe burns all over his face and both hands while his assistant was burnt on the head and chin. The two were rushed to St Joseph Clinic in Chishawasha where they were treated.
Watermount farm manager Mr Terry Mlambo said they had not yet established the extent of the damage .
He said they suspected that farmers resettled on the estate, who were clearing land to prepare fireguards, might have caused the fire.
“We believe that the fire was started by some new farmers on this estate while clearing land to prepare their fire guards.
“We suspect that they then failed to control the fire because of the wind and it spread,” Mr Mlambo said.
Mr Mlambo said they lost about half a hectare of sorghum.
One of the new farmers Mr Reason Kagonye said the destruction of pastures and bio-diversity wassad.
Despite several warnings by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Meteorological Services Department on both radio and television for the public to prevent bush fires, most people in farming communities continue to ignite fires.
Recently, uncontrolled fires razed down vast forests and property worth $100 billion at Mazou Game Park in Mazowe, a situation, which has put livestock and other wild animals at risk.
Uncontrolled fires are also reported to be prevalent in Masvingo, Gutu and Chivi new farming areas and communal areas.