Game lost in veld fires

Game lost in veld fires

24 September 2013

published by www.thenewage.co.za


South Africa — Farmers were still counting their losses after large tracts of land were burnt down and some game killed in running veld fires that ignited in Modimolle in the Waterberg district since Thursday last week.

According to the Waterberg district municipality spokesperson, Pat Malete, most of the fires were put out at the weekend with the help of a helicopter that sprayed down water from air.

“We are not aware of any human casualty but we know that agricultural and natural land have been destroyed by the fire. Game animals died in the running fires,” Malete said.

A farmer in the area said: “Telephone and electric poles have burnt to ashes as well. The famous Nylsvlei Nature Reserve was also lashed out by flames.”

Relevant stakeholders, including farmers, municipal and government officials will meet tomorrow to assess the damage.

The provincial department of agriculture said indigenous and commercial forests have been destroyed by veld fires in many parts of the province since last month.

“Already livestock and grazing are in danger due to drought in Vhembe and Mopani districts. Adding running fires to the already worst situation will result in total destruction of agricultural ventures,” spokesperson for the department, Selby Makgotho, said.

“It requires a collective responsibility from us all as government and members of the public including private sector to ensure fires are not ignited.” .

The department said budgetary constraints were hampering compensation to farmers for hectares of land and livestock that went up in smoke.

provinces@thenewage.co.za
Montsho Matlala

Farmers were still counting their losses after large tracts of land were burnt down and some game killed in running veld fires that ignited in Modimolle in the Waterberg district since Thursday last week.

According to the Waterberg district municipality spokesperson, Pat Malete, most of the fires were put out at the weekend with the help of a helicopter that sprayed down water from air.

“We are not aware of any human casualty but we know that agricultural and natural land have been destroyed by the fire. Game animals died in the running fires,” Malete said.

A farmer in the area said: “Telephone and electric poles have burnt to ashes as well. The famous Nylsvlei Nature Reserve was also lashed out by flames.”

Relevant stakeholders, including farmers, municipal and government officials will meet tomorrow to assess the damage.

The provincial department of agriculture said indigenous and commercial forests have been destroyed by veld fires in many parts of the province since last month.

“Already livestock and grazing are in danger due to drought in Vhembe and Mopani districts. Adding running fires to the already worst situation will result in total destruction of agricultural ventures,” spokesperson for the department, Selby Makgotho, said.

“It requires a collective responsibility from us all as government and members of the public including private sector to ensure fires are not ignited.” .

The department said budgetary constraints were hampering compensation to farmers for hectares of land and livestock that went up in smoke.
 


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