The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in Mpumalanga warns communities to be on high alert due to the dry and windy conditions. Hot conditions have been predicted in Mpumalanga for the next two days by the South African Weather Services (SAWS). These conditions are conducive for the spread of runaway fires.
How to prevent veld fires
1. Prevent accidentally starting a runaway fire by making sure your outdoor braai fires are properly put out (Only braai in safe and designated areas).
2. Not throwing cigarette butts out of cars or into bushes or dry grass.
3. Protect your home from damage by keeping grass cut short; clearing all trees, bushes and dry vegetation away from within 10m around houses and structures; cleaning the roof gutters of vegetation such as dead leaves.
Reactionary measures in case of a fire outbreak.
1. Report the fire.
2. Should there be an immediate threat to your property, damp down your garden (using either a hose or irrigation system).
3. Have grass beaters handy to extinguish the fire.
4. Sand can be a very effective method of veld fire control since water will not be readily available.
All Disaster Management teams in all municipalities are on high alert to deal with emergency cases that may be caused by fires. COGTA urges communities to report emergency cases to the following toll free number: 0800202 507.