54 fire cases reported in Western Region this year

54 fire cases reported in Western Region this year

28 January 2016

published by www.ghanaweb.com

Ghana–  National Fire Service, Mr Obeng Dankwa Dwamena says 54 fire cases have been reported in the region in January compared to 36 in the same period last year.

He described the situation as alarming, thus compelling the Service to intensify fire safety education across the region to curb the menace.

Mr Dwamena made the disclosure at Fijai on Wednesday when the national taskforce on bush fires visited the regional headquarters to begin a three-day sensitisation campaign.

He said the Region recorded a total of 402 fire cases last year with an estimated cost of damage at GH? 958, 931.00.

He said 46 bush fires were recorded, 161 domestic, 25 industrial, 58 vehicular, 56 commercial and three institutional fires.

Mr Dwamena noted that although the fire incidents are increasing the Service had not relented on its efforts on safety campaigns in the Region and the fire taskforce is working hard to ensure compliance with fire safety regulations.

He said the national taskforce on bush fires had visited the Region to augment the efforts of the Regional Command in creating and sustaining awareness on fire safety to save lives, the environment and property.

He said the ban on hunting wildlife is still in force and warned the public to be circumspect with fires.

The Regional Fire Commander advised cigarette smokers to extinguish their leftovers before throwing them away and those who burn their farms to be careful so that the faggots and burning of weeds did not cause widespread fire.

He said 1,126 fire volunteers have been constituted in the various districts in the Region to support the Service to educate the populace on fire safety.As a blaze continues to burn out of control in northwest Tasmania, extending an emergency warning for residents, a senior firefighter says authorities face weeks more work.

The small shack community of Temma remained on high alert for a second day on Thursday with the Tasmania Fire Service warning of an ‘uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast-moving’ fire, which has already burned through almost 13,000 hectares.

While outhouses, fencing and verandas have been destroyed, there are no reports of dwelling damage, injury or loss of livestock.

Four people have been treated for smoke inhalation.

The areas of Nelson Bay and Arthur River remain on alert and the Nelson Bay Bridge has been destroyed.

Deputy chief Jeremy Smith says forecast rain over coming days will bring little, if any, relief.

‘We’re only anticipating potentially up to 20mm over the three or four days over the weekend so that is not enough rain to extinguish these fires,’ he told ABC Radio.

‘We’ve got many weeks of going through the fire lines and ensuring they’re completely out.’

The fire was one of more than 70 started across the state over a fortnight ago during a series of dry-lightning strikes.

Many of the blazes are burning in remote, difficult-to-access areas, including sections of protected old-growth forest.

Access to Cradle Mountain in the state’s central north has been closed, along with the popular Overland Track, from which trekkers were being air-winched to safety late on Wednesday.

On Thursday fire crews are due to start arriving from New Zealand to join local and interstate personnel.

‘The crews will have to go and do the hard slog and track every edge of those fires,’ Mr Smith said.

Forty helicopters, including some on loan from interstate, are being used to water bomb the fire in difficult-to-reach areas, while radar technology is proving helpful as smoke reduces visibility.

– See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2016/01/28/bushfires-ravage-tasmania.html#sthash.xL1EW6NF.dpuf

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