Western Cape Beats 270 Wildfires

Western Cape beats 270 wildfires

10 March 2011

published by www.timeslive.co.za

Sth Africa —  Governments Working on Fire (WoF) programme have fought and contained 270 wild fires in the Western Cape since the start of December.

The number of fires peaked in January with February – the hottest and windiest month – being quieter than expected despite lower than average rainfall.

Graham Barlow, General Manager of WoF in the Western Cape said “We will keep all the ground teams and aerial resources in the Western Cape on full alert.”

“Some fires have proved to be very tenacious, with a number burning longer than a week, showing that conditions for runaway fires were still prevalent.”.

The WoF’s aerial support unit has proven itself helpful in dealing with fires according to Philip Prins, Table Mountain National Park fire manager.

“We had two fires on the Twelve Apostles that could have become very nasty due to high winds but they were controlled with one or two water drops by WoF bomber planes,” said Prins.

The damage:

Out of an estimated 37 811.6ha About 24 317.5ha of fynbos were hit by the fires, and plantations lost about 3 434ha. The rest was open veld and human settlements.

This does not include fires fought by local authorities, Table Mountain National Park fire authorities or SANParks without calling in the WoF.

The province’s fire season officially ends on April 1

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