F State, KZN count losses after veld fires

F State, KZN count losses after veld fires

20 September 2010

published by www.buanews.gov.za

South Africa —  The Free State and KwaZulu-Natal governments are assessing the damage caused by veld fires over the weekend.

Unconfirmed reports revealed that almost 214 000 hectares of land burnt down in Clocolan, in the eastern Free State. Provincial Department of Agriculture spokesperson, Thato Mokoena, told BuaNews that a decision to declare the affected region a disaster area would be made once assessment was completed.

“We are still investigating the cause of the fire,” she said, adding that no deaths or injuries were reported.

It is alleged that some farmers lost livestock due to the fire, while others are struggling to get fodder.

Free State MEC for Agriculture, Mamiki Qabathe, visited the affected areas over the weekend.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the Disaster Management Team is hard at work trying to assess the cost of damage caused by a raging fire in the northern parts of the province. Farms are said to be especially hard hit.

The provincial government has warned residents to be extra cautious when using objects that may lead to fire during dry and humid weather conditions.

Affected families have been temporarily assisted with tents, blankets, food parcels and other essential services.

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