Fire season is back

by CapeNature

The start of summer is also the start of the fire season, which runs through to March. CapeNature is calling on all outdoor fans to be fire savvy and make this season a safe one.

Every year we have to battle unwanted veld and forest fires. The consequences of these are bleak; many lives are endangered and property and ecosystems are often destroyed.

The Western Cape is the worst affected wildfire area in South Africa. It’s for this reason that CapeNature, Working on Fire and Disaster management are coming together to spread the fire safety message.

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 aware of the consequences of their actions. Think of the risks of a cigarette butt tossed out of a window, a campfire left unattended or rubbish that is burned on a windy day…

We’re hoping that more people will be made aware of the dangers of starting fires. Keep in touch with us on our Facebook page and let us know if you hear about any fires in an area near you.

Did you know?
Over 90% of fires are caused by human negligence, according to Working on Fire. Link: http://www.workingonfire.org/

Fire breakout in 2009 - Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve.  Images by Johnny Vergeer.

Fire breakout in 2009 – Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve.
Images by Johnny Vergeer.

Wildfire prevention tips

  • Avoid burning refuse. Even a covered barrel can allow a spark to escape, igniting nearby vegetation.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher close at hand when using mechanical equipment outdoors or when equipment gets hot – you may just prevent an unwanted fire from spreading.
  • If you smoke in your car, use the vehicle ashtray. Do not throw cigarettes out the car window or put a cigarette out on the ground.

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