South Africa — Forestry South Africa says devastating fires have already cost them over R900 million. Plantation and veld runaway fires have already ravaged 85 000 hectares of land nationwide. Meanwhile seven of the ten fires which were raging out of control since yesterday have been contained in Mpumalanga.
Mpumalanga province has already lost 37 000 hectares of plantation land. In the Sabie and Graskop area, Komatiland forest lost over 16 000 hectares of pine tree plantations. Komatiland forest is the biggest governmental soft wood log producer in this area. The severe fire is said to be the most destructive since 2003.
Meanwhile the Driekop Sawmill will not lay off any of its workforce. The sawmill has obtained over an estimated R50 million in damage. Working on Fire says contingency plans that have been put in place after the devastating fires in 2003 are not on track.
The fires are having an adverse effect on the timber industry. This is on top of the already existing shortage of timber in the country. Forestry South Africa says this might result in a sharp rise in the price of timber.