13 000ha destroyed by veld fire between Memel and Vrede

A veld fire is currently burning between Vrede and Memel in the eastern Free State. The fire started on 9 October on a farm near the Vrede-Volksrust road, according to the CEO of the Free State Umbrella Fire Association, Thinus Steenkamp.

- Advertisement -

“Some 13 000ha have been destroyed so far,” he said. “We deployed two Working on Fire (WoF) teams on 9 October and one on 10 October. The fire has been contained to a certain extent, but flares up every now and again.

“But so far we’ve managed to keep the fire in the block between the R543, S815 and S814 roads,” he said.

Steenkamp said it’s very dry in the Vrede and Memel districts and the fire spread rapidly.

- Advertisement -

The mountainous terrain also made it very difficult for the WoF teams to reach the forefront of the flames. “I call on landowners to remain extremely vigilant today and tomorrow. The strong winds coupled with high temperatures create ideal conditions for veld fires under the current dry conditions,” said Steenkamp.