The Western Cape is one of the worst affected veldfire areas in the country where fires are a natural phenomenon during summer. However, too frequent fires may have a negative effect on the biodiversity and ecosystem services such as water production.
All fires start small, but when the weather is hot, dry and windy, a small fire can quickly become a threat to life and property. The Western Cape fire season occurs during the hot dry summer season and both residents and visitors to the province need to be vigilant and careful when dealing with fires or any other burning material.
One of the main reasons for fires is unfortunately a lack of knowledge. Tourists visiting the Cape or people living near open veld aren’t always aware of the consequences of their actions.
Help us spread the message of safety by being aware of the following rules, numbers and resources:
Please note that when entering a high fire risk area:
- No open flame or fire may be permitted unless in a demarcated area. These areas are only in the fireplaces provided.
- You must ensure that a fire is attended at all times.
- You must ensure that a fire is extinguished properly with water, once you are finished with the fire. No fire may burn through the night.
- You must ensure that a cigarette is completely extinguished before disposal.
District emergency numbers for reporting veldfires
ALL EMERGENCIES: 112 from a cell phone
- City of Cape Town: 107 or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone
- Overberg District Municipality: 028 425 1690
- West Coast District Municipality: 022 433 8700
- Eden District Municipality: 044 805 5071
- Central Karoo District Municipality: 023 414 2603
- Cape Winelands District Municipality: 021 887 4446
Fire safety resources and websites:
- Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF): www.dwaf.gov.za
- Firewise SA: www.firewisesa.org.za
- Department of Provincial and Local Government: www.dplg.gov.za
- National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC): http://sandmc.pwc.gov.za
- South African Emergency Services Institute (SAESI): www.saesi.com
- Visit www.wildflower.org and select “explore plants”
Be Prepared This Fire Season
- No open flame or fire may be permitted unless in a demarcated area. These are only in fireplaces provided.
- Ensure that a fire is attended at all times
- Ensure that a fire is extinguished properly with water, once you are finished with the fire. No fire may burn through the night.
- Ensure that a cigarette is completely extinguished before disposal.