Botswana — Serowe residents have been asked to help in extinguishing veldt fires ravaging the Central district. Central District Commissioner, Ms Lorato Plaatje made the request during an emergency Kgotla meeting aimed at mobilizing residents to help put out fire at places such as Kaka farms in Boteti, Mabuo, Kora Kora and Kodibeleng in the Central district. Ms Plaatje said people should know that it is an offence to refuse to help in putting out fire and said such people face charges of up to P1 000 fine. She said people should first seek permission from the Department of Forestry and Range Resources or conservation committee if they want to burn bushes. Ms Plaatje said veldt fires have an economic impact as they destroy the nations flora and fauna. He said apart from being destroyed by the fire, some animals are likely to go astray due to fear. The DC said BDF officers based in Francistown have been deployed to assist in the exercise, adding that the army has also offered vehicles which would be used to carry people to the areas affected. Ms Plaatje said people assisting in extinguishing the veldt fires would be fed and provided with medical services. Bamangwato Tribal authority Chief Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane cautioned the residents about causing veldt fires, saying fire is dangerous and should be handled with care. Residents promised to mobilize the youth in their wards to help.