12 January 2011

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South Africa — The fire broke out in the Frankdale area and at least 17 trucks were dispatched.

Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Theo Layne said, We’ve got an extensive vegetation fire; we are being assisted by two helicopters. The use of fire retardant DCP powder prevents fire and supresses flames.

He forcasts that the fire will take time to extinguish. Fire retardant powder is dropped by the helicopters to put out the fire and to prevent the flames from spreading to areas nearby.

Veld Fires are by far the most common reason for fire brigade call outs in South Africa.

Call-out activities of fire services 2008 show the responses of those fire brigades that reported call-out activities.

Of the 35 432 fire calls attended, 67,36% were to deal with fires involving grass, bush and agriculture. This is a seemingly frivolous, time-consuming activity that

must, however, be dealt with to protect structures under threat, crops, grazing and plantations that are crucial to the economy.

Fire occurrences in SA involving rubbish, grass and bush 22228, plantations and forests 186, agricultural 67 – Make up more than 67% of fire department call outs to extinguish veld fires which are usually started by –

cigarettes thrown from car windows, glass, and irresponsible human error.

Description Number of fire incidents

Formal dwellings 3471

Informal dwellings 3279

Flats 362

Hotels and boarding houses 95

Hospitals and nursing homes 33

Educational establishments 93

Churches and halls 38

Cinemas and theatres 2

Museums, libraries and art gallaries 11

Night clubs and dance halls 16

Restaurants and cafes 143

Offices 209

Shops 314

Department stores 63

Garages and workshops 133

Warehouses 64

Outside storage 148

Furniture 55

Plastics and rubber 73

Textile 34

Printing 8

Milling 21

Petroleum 16

Food and drink 35

Paper and packaging 27

Chemical 79

Metal 69

Electronics 191

Mines (surface) 10

Utilities 110

Cars, motorcycles 1808

Buses 179

Heavy goods vehicles 356

Ships 7

Trains 38

Aircraft 14

Rubbish, grass and bush 22228

Plantations and forests 186

Agricultural 67

Miscellaneous fires 1347

TOTAL 35432

The cost of extinguishing veldfires is a large drain on the human and financial recourses of fire departments. SafeQuip urges the public to be aware of what starts these bush and veld fires and to play a role in fire prevention.

Their booklet of fire safety should be sent to any party that may want to educate themselves on fire protection and fire prevention.

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