Fire razes 25 000ha

Fire razes25 000ha

22 March 2007

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CapeTown, South Africa — Fires that have been burning in the Pilanesberg area of North West for the past six days have razed about25 000ha of bush, said Working on Fire (WOF) on Thursday.

More than 120 farmers, their workers, residents and eight fire engines from nearby towns were fighting the fire, said WOF’s Evelyn John Holtzhausen.

Teams of wildfire fighters from Gauteng trained by WOF had been called in to help.

WOF had dispatched a spotter aircraft to direct fire fighters from the air.

Government job-creation programme

A command centre also would be set up to co-ordinate firefighting teams in the area.

Sixteen young elephants were burnt in a veld fire that swept through Pilanesberg National Park in September 2005.

Four elephants had to be put down because of their injuries. About 6 000ha were destroyed in that fire.

WOF was a government job-creation programme which trained and deployed wild fire fighters nationally.

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