Veld fire devastates wildlife in maize triangle

Veld fire devastates wildlife in maize triangle

10 October 2008

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Namibia — Fifty wild animals perished in a huge veld fire that gutted about 800 hectares of grazing land in the maize triangle, a forest ranger in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said yesterday.

The veld fire, which started at the farm Gaus in the Otavi Mountain Conservancy on Wednesday afternoon, also killed countless birds, said Robert Simasiku.

Farmers and a team from the Ministry put out the fire on Saturday.

Simasiku said five eland, five kudu, 20 warthogs, 10 duikers and 10 steenbok were killed by the veld fire.

Five farms were affected, with the damage to infrastructure, particularly to fences, estimated at between N$70 000 and N$100 000.

According to the information Simasiku received, the fire was caused by NBC employees working on a transmission tower in the area.

He said the NBC employees decided to cook a meal and when they left, they did not put of the fire properly.

When the wind started blowing, the fire spread.

Recent studies have shown that the eight regions worst affected by veld fires in Namibia are Caprivi, Kavango, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, Omusati, Kunene, Oshikoto and Khomas.

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