Kishugu Joined Venture (JV) Gauteng, operating under Working on Fire, has issued a warning concerning the surge of fires in Gauteng, with a total of 46 recorded incidents as of August 21 this year.
Parapara Makgahlela, the provincial communications officer of the JV, highlighted the adverse impact of the prevailing weather conditions – characterised by heat, dryness, and strong winds – which have exacerbated the initiation of wildland fires across the province. Makgahlela also noted that the accumulation of substantial fuel during the rainy season has now dried out, rendering it susceptible to ignition.
Stephen Boyes, the general manager in Gauteng, emphasised the need for heightened vigilance among landowners as the fire season’s critical stage approaches. Boyes pointed out a noticeable increase in fire callouts, indicating the intensification of the fire season and a rise in grassland fires. He underlined the state of readiness of firefighting teams stationed at bases across the province, poised for swift deployment to safeguard lives, protect assets, and mitigate fire-related risks. Boyes attributed the rising prevalence of fires to the prevailing dry, hot, and windy weather conditions.
Since the onset of the winter fire season, Gauteng has encountered 129 fires, all combated by the efforts of JV firefighters.
Boyes recommended proactive measures to mitigate the hazards of wildland fires, including early preparations such as fuel load reduction through the implementation of slashing and burning fire breaks. He anticipates a continuation of fire incidents in the upcoming months.
Kishugu Joined Venture (JV) Gauteng, affiliated with Working on Fire, has underscored the escalating fire threat in Gauteng due to the prevailing weather conditions and increased fuel load. With fires becoming more frequent, local firefighting teams remain vigilant and prepared for swift action to protect lives and properties. Proactive steps, such as fuel load reduction, are being emphasised to mitigate the risks posed by wildland fires in the region.
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Photo: Supplied by Randfontein Herald